Beginning on Monday, July 1, the personal possession of small amounts of marijuana in New Mexico will no longer be classified as a criminal offense.
In April, Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation into law decriminalizing the possession of personal use amounts of cannabis.
The new law reduces first-time penalties for the possession of up to one-half ounce of cannabis from a criminal misdemeanor — punishable by up to 15 days in jail — to a ‘penalty assessment,’ punishable by a $50 fine. Subsequent offenses, however, remain punishable by the possibility of jail time.
Police in New Mexico made over 3,600 marijuana possession arrests in 2016.
Legislation in Hawaii to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession offenses is awaiting action from the Governor, while Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign legalization legislation into law this week.