New Mexico Goes Full Recreational on Tuesday
On Tuesday June 29th marijuana becomes legal for recreational use for all adults 21 and over.
This means you’ll no longer need a prescription for medicinal cannabis.
Until the state of New Mexico makes the rules for producing, marketing and serving cannabis, the only place you can buy is one of licensed medical dispensaries. Which you’ll need a prescription for. So, until they sort out all the rules (the deadline is April 1st of 2022), you can’t buy weed in New Mexico without a prescription. For a few months starting this Tuesday, it will be legal to possess and use cannabis…but it will be illegal for anyone but a medical dispensary to sell it to you. You’ll need that prescription until non-medical pot shops can open.
In the meantime, here are still a few things you WON’T be able to do in New Mexico vis a vis marijuana:
You can’t smoke it in a public area. Think alcohol; the places you can get in trouble for consuming alcohol are the same places you aren’t allowed to smoke marijuana.
Even though you can drink in a bar you likely won’t be allowed to spark up. ANY business can impose a “no marijuana-smoking policy”.
Same goes for your place of business. Employers can implement “zero tolerance” policies against it.
You can grow plants, but no more than 12 plants per household. Now, this next part gets tricky. You can grow your own plant. You can roll up and smoke what you’ve grown. You can share with friends as long as they are 21 or older. What you CAN’T do is sell it. Say you’ve got a friend over. Say your friend asks if he can have a joint to take home. You say, “Aw, brah, I totally would. But this blunt is my LAST ONE, esse”. Your friend says, “I get that, homes. I wouldn’t want to take your last one. How about if I get you $5 for it”. The minute you agree and take the money you’ve technically committed a felony offense. Now, I’m not saying your homie is going to rat you out. It’s just an example of how easily someone could fall afoul of the new law.
Also, there’s a way you can take LEGALLY obtained weed from one city in New Mexico to ANOTHER city in New Mexico and still be arrested on felony drug trafficking charges. Here’s how that works: on the Federal, or Nationwide, level marijuana is still a Schedule One controlled substance. Cocaine is a Schedule TWO substance. So, imagine the trouble you could get in for having a pocketful of booger sugar on you. You could, potentially, get in serious trouble for having weed…IF you’re searched by a Federal Officer. The laws and sentencing practices are changing all the time but, for now, it IS illegal from the Federal view.
Here’s how you could get popped WITHOUT leaving New Mexico. Let’s say you live in Las Cruces and you’re going up to Ruidoso for the weekend. You take your legally obtained weed, which is legal in Cruces TO Ruidoso where it is also legal. Somewhere between point A and point B you’re going to have to drive through a Border Patrol Checkpoint. That’s a Federal checkpoint and those are Federal officers with Federal drug-sniffing dogs. Until the Feds say they are absolutely going to stand-down on enforcing federal law on otherwise lawful New Mexicans…I say it’s a risk.