Learn more about marijuana in New Mexico

Like many other U.S. states, New Mexico marijuana laws start in the 1920s amid a wave of prohibition that barred the use of many popular substances, including alcohol. The year was 1923, and New Mexico had just passed a law banning the cultivation, transportation, and sale of marijuana. Two years later, a revised version of 1912's International Opium Convention added marijuana to its list of dangerous drugs and by 1935 President Roosevelt was selling marijuana prohibition to the American public in a radio address that many believe marked the beginning of our nation's long and protracted drug war against marijuana and other controlled substances that largely continues to this day.

Fast forward to 1978 when New Mexico passed the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act, making the state the first in the nation to recognize the medical benefits of marijuana. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration and distributing marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the nascent program had federal backing by the end of the year, but it was too late for Lynn Pierson, a cancer patient and major proponent of the bill, who died before any cannabis was actually delivered to the state. However, hundreds of cancer patients were served by the Lynn Pierson Therapeutic Research Program, which sourced and distributed marijuana to New Mexico residents for almost 10 years.

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