New Mexico Decriminalizes Cannabis

New Mexico has become the next state to decriminalize cannabis.

On Wednesday, New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham [D] signed SB323, a bill which decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of cannabis and reduces criminal and civil penalties.

The bill, which becomes effective on July 1, also decriminalizes the possession of cannabis paraphernalia.

Under SB323, anyone caught with up to one-half ounce of cannabis will be given a penalty assessment and a $50 fine.

Anyone caught with higher amounts up to an ounce will receive a fine of up to $100 and 15 days in jail for the first offense, and a fine of up to $1,000 and a year behind bars for subsequent infractions.

Possession of amounts over eight ounces will be considered a fourth-degree felony which is punishable by 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The defendant must also complete a professional counseling program at their own expense.

Indiana NORML took to Twitter to celebrate the signing of SB323 into law and call out Governor Eric Holcomb.

Holcomb, who has admitted to smoking cannabis in college, said in January that he would not support cannabis legalization in Indiana until federal law changes.

Earlier this week, Governor Grisham also signed HB581, an economic development bill that establishes a uniform regulatory structure for New Mexico’s hemp industry by regulating production, testing, research, manufacturing, and transport of extracts and other hemp-derived products.