Marijuana Possession Laws in Las Cruces: What You Need to Know

By Brock Benjamin
Founding Attorney

In recent years, the landscape surrounding marijuana laws has shifted dramatically across the United States, with many states moving towards decriminalization and legalization. New Mexico is no exception. The use of medical marijuana was legalized in New Mexico in 2007, and in 2021 the recreational use of marijuana was legalized. In 2022, authorized dispensaries began selling recreational marijuana. However, the law surrounding the recreational and medical use of marijuana in New Mexico does set forth strict limits, and not abiding by those limits can result in criminal charges and serious penalties. It’s important for residents of Las Cruces to be well-informed about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to marijuana.

Understanding State and Federal Laws on Marijuana Possession

The American justice system allows each state to set forth its own laws but also provides laws that apply on the federal level. While many states, including New Mexico, have taken steps to decriminalize and even legalize small amounts of marijuana possession for recreational use, it is still expressly illegal on the federal level. The federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance. While possessing a legal amount of marijuana in Las Cruces is legal, doing so on federal land, while employed by the federal government, or engaging in an act that could end up with federal charges (even as simple as a basic traffic violation while crossing state lines) can lead to serious consequences.

Las Cruces Marijuana Possession Laws: What’s Legal?

It is legal to purchase, possess, gift, cultivate, and enjoy marijuana on a medical and legal level in Las Cruces, but there are certain limits to be aware of. Here’s what won’t land you in any legal trouble:

  • Purchasing, possessing, and consuming medical marijuana if you are over the age of 18 and have a valid medical marijuana card.
  • Purchasing, possessing, and consuming recreational marijuana if you are over 21. You may possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana flower, 16 grams of concentrate, or 800 milligrams of edibles.
  • Consuming marijuana on private property or in a designated public consumption area.
  • Cultivating up to six marijuana plants.
  • Possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

Las Cruces Marijuana Possession Laws: What’s Illegal?

While recreational and medicinal marijuana is legal in Las Cruces, the law sets limits, and certain marijuana-related actions are still expressly illegal, with the potential for serious penalties. These include:

  • Possessing or using medical marijuana without a valid medical marijuana card or when under the age of 18 (unless you fall under the designated caregiver exception).
  • Possessing or using recreational marijuana when under the age of 21.
  • Possessing more than two ounces of marijuana flower, more than 16 grams of concentrate, or 800 milligrams of edibles.
  • Consuming marijuana on public property that isn’t a designated public consumption area.
  • Possessing marijuana with an intent to distribute.
  • Distributing any amount of marijuana (it is, however, legal to give other adults up to the legal possession limit as a gift).
  • Cultivating more than six marijuana plants.
  • Distributing marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia to a minor.
  • Driving under the influence of marijuana.

Las Cruces Criminal Defense Attorney

Staying informed about the laws surrounding marijuana in Las Cruces is critical for residents and visitors alike. While purchasing, possessing, and enjoying marijuana on a medicinal or recreational level is legal, there are limits. Individuals must be aware of their rights and responsibilities, along with the potential consequences they may face for failing to abide by these limits.

Should you or a loved one find yourselves with legal questions or facing criminal charges, turn to an experienced advocate in drug crime defense. The Benjamin Law Firm offers comprehensive civil litigation, aviation law, and criminal defense services, backed by nearly two decades of experience. What sets our team apart is the level of expertise that founding attorney Brock Morgan Benjamin brings to drug crime cases. Attorney Benjamin is one of few attorneys who is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, making him a leader in the field of criminal defense. That expertise, coupled with his experience as a former prosecutor, gives Attorney Benjamin a valuable edge in his criminal defense practice. 

Contact us or call us at (915)-221-7462 today. ¡También podemos ayudarte en español!

About the Author
Brock Benjamin is board-certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  His practice is primarily state and federal criminal law and appeals.Brock 

Posted in: Drug Criminal Defense