Almost two weeks ago, the New Mexico Governor signed a bill making it the 18th state to legalize adult recreational use of cannabis.
As Texans, what do we need to know?
I’m Lawyer Alexandria Serra, this blog post is inspired by my latest Lawyer Talk Thursday (catch it on Instagram @alexandriaserra), and you’re about to find out.
*Let me start with a disclaimer – this is not legal advice – and I am not licensed in New Mexico – (but I can read the law)*
New Mexico Changes in Cannabis Law
Here are the NEW rules:
1. The legal age to purchase, possess, and use cannabis under the new law is 21. If you’re working in the New Mexico cannabis industry, then it’s the same thing – you have to be an “adult.”
2. No later than April 1, 2022, you will be able to purchase cannabis recreationally. Some provisions of this bill go into effect in 90 days. Be sure to consult your local New Mexico lawyer, BUT if you’re a Texan physically in New Mexico – you are subject to NM laws – enjoy yourself! Adults will be able to legally purchase the following at one time:
- Up to two ounces of cannabis (my sources say that’s like 50 joints), or
- 16 grams of extract, or
- 800 milligrams of edibles
3. These limits are for possession in public. You will be allowed to keep more in your home, hidden from public view. All New Mexico residents, 21 and over, will be allowed to cultivate in their home without a license.
4. Employers can still prohibit cannabis use and can have a zero-tolerance policy at work. Regardless, you’ll be able to smoke in public in a designated cannabis consumption area.
5. THE SMELL OF CANNABIS WILL NO LONGER BE PROBABLE CAUSE TO STOP, DETAIN OR SEARCH … IN NEW MEXICO. Meaning, once you cross over that border, BABY, ALL BETS ARE OFF.
That leads me to…
6. None of this changes the law in Texas. For example, are you chillin’ in Anthony, TX or Anthony, NM? This fact now becomes important. You can still get a weed DWI – so if you go get high in NM and you’re driving in Texas, not only are they going to search your car if it smells like weed, they may try to arrest you for a DWI.
Cannabis in Texas: NOT Allowed… YET!
If you have not practiced the Pot Brothers At Law script for when you get pulled over by law enforcement, check it out and make sure you know it. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOmey2NXKdc.
Possession of THC carts or edibles is still a felony in Texas – although the El Paso County DA may treat your case with some compassion. If you purchase in New Mexico and take it across state lines, that is still going to be a criminal charge.
THERE’S HOPE THAT TEXAS WILL GET IT TOGETHER!
The People Want Cannabis!
Recent studies say over 50% of Texans support legalization.
On 4/20, HB 4089 was introduced to the Texas Legislature to make it legal to use, possess and transport up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis with not more than 15 grams of it being concentrate. Additionally, the bill proposes to allow for personal use cultivation. Meaning that Texas residents could potentially be able to store no more than 12 plants in their homes, should this bill be passed into law. On the other hand, smoking on public roads or operating a vehicle “weed intoxicated” would remain illegal.
There’s also a bill in the Texas legislature to allow local jurisdictions (counties/municipalities) to make their own rules regarding recreational cannabis.
A third bill of note proposes that possession up to an ounce of flower be made a class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by fine only, and you cannot be arrested for it!
In addition, House Bill (HB) 1535 passed in the House and is moving to the Senate. HB 1535 relates to medical use of low-THC cannabis by patients with certain medical conditions, compassionate-use, and research programs. The bill passed with a vote of 108-33!
None of these bills are signed by the Governor, so they’re not laws… yet. Progress Texas, progress!
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.