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Albuquerque Innsights

A local innkeeper knows New Mexico secrets and tells anyone who will listen.

New Mexico is a Compassionate Use State

January 2nd, 2014

New Mexico is a Compassionate use state, meaning that New Mexico residents may register and participate in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis program.

In 2007 New Mexico’s Legislators passed the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, which essentially made cannabis legal as medicine for qualifying conditions, and the list is a long and very inclusive for a wide range of illnesses and conditions.New Mexico has Compassionate Cannabis Use Laws

Only state residents can participate in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis program. I asked a former State Senator about reciprocity and if it was considered when creating the Medical Cannabis Law in New Mexico. She said that as far as she knew, it hadn’t even come up. Reciprocity is a term used in the Medical Cannabis that relates to whether or not a state will recognize and respect patients with Medical Cannabis cards from other states. There weren’t that many states with Medical Cannabis Laws in the U.S. at that point, and the lawmakers were more concerned with protecting their own citizens with a law that had no loopholes. As it stands now, only New Mexico residents with Medical Cannabis Program cards are protected under the law. That is not to say your personal encounter with law enforcement would get you arrested or have your medicine confiscated. That will vary from officer to officer, but it is not a priority for most law enforcement, especially in the cities, if you are found to possess small quantities of marijuana and are not smoking it in public, smoking while driving or disturbing the peace.

Presently there are 20 states in the U.S.as well as Washington DC that have protected their citizens with medical marijuana, (or cannabis, the preferred term in New Mexico), compassionate use laws. In some of these states the laws are pitiful, like NJ and Illinois, both who make it very difficult or nearly impossible for patients in desperate need to qualify or even obtain cannabis as medicine. In many states marijuana is not legal, but the penalties are less harsh and there are no more mandatory jail sentences. At this time in New Mexico, possession of one ounce or less of marijuana for non-medical purposes is punishable by a $50-100 fine and up to 15 days in jail. A second offense, or a conviction for possession of more than an ounce, can lead to a fine of up to $1,000 and a prison term of up to one year.

A bill passed the NM House of Representatives in the 2013 Legislative session which would reduce the penalty of up to one ounce in personal possession to just a $50 fine, but the session ran out before it could go to the Senate. There was also a bill that passed a Senate Committee that would task the Economic Development Department to study the impact of regulating marijuana like cigarettes and alcohol. This is seen as a promising sign toward legalization in the near future. I think that with legalized marijuana in neighboring Colorado, legalization will happen soon here in New Mexico. I am sure our legislators will be watching Colorado and Washington very carefully. In the mean time we hope for full decriminalization in 2014.

I will update this information as it all unfolds. For more information on the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program, you may find these links helpful:

The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act (full text)
New Mexico Depatment of Health Medical Cannabis Program
CannaGramma, personal experience with Medical Cannabis in New Mexico

Dia de los Muertos Marigold Parade in Albuquerque

October 29th, 2013

The Day of the Dead has been celebrated in Albuquerque with the Annual Marigold Parade for several years now, and the event keeps getting better and better. I’m actually getting to go to this event this year, not as a participant, but rather as a spectator. I’ll have to go early to get a good spot to sit along the parade route, but early I’ll be with a book in hand. Below is the poster of all the need to know info. The 2013 Marigold Parade is a joint effort put on by La Raza Unido & Cambio. La Raza Unido and Cambio, Inc. are non-profit entities in Albuquerque that promote social change and help the poor. Their service and dedication are commendable, and they are vital parts of the community. Many thanks to them and the County of Bernalillo for making this Marigold Parade happen!calaveras de dia de los muertos

For more general info on Dia De Los Muertos, the Marigold Parade in Albuquerque and to find out what a calavera is, read my previous posts, (see below). They’re full of great information that inquiring minds NEED to know, and for more parade info click on the poster to go to their website. And remember..no papers, no fear. There is hope and help.

El Dia De Los Muertos en Albuquerque
Albuquerque Celebrates Dia De Los Muertos with the 2012 Marigold Parade


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copyright 2009 :: sarah dolk, adobe nido bed and breakfast, albuquerque nm :: photos by susan see, abq, nm & marianne groszko, mariannephotography.net