New Mexico: New Marijuana Decriminalization Law Goes Into Effect Next Week

home cultivationBeginning 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.

Twenty five states and the District of Columbia have either legalized or decriminalized the adult possession and use of marijuana.

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.