SANTA FE, N.M. (March 8, 2019) – Yesterday, the New Mexico House passed a bill that would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes despite federal prohibition on the same.

Introduced by Rep. Javier Martínez and four cosponsors, House Bill 356 (HB356) would establishing a legal marijuana industry that would allow adults 21 and over to consume cannabis for recreational purposes.

Last month, the House Health & Human Services Committee voted 5-2 to pass the bill and send it to the Judiciary committee, with five Democrats voting yes and two Republicans voting no. Today, the bill was passed by the full chamber with a razor-thin vote of 36-34.

Ten Democrats voted no, joining every one of the chamber’s Republicans in opposition to the measure.


In 2007, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson signed into law a bill to create a medical marijuana program in the state. Legalization of recreational marijuana through HB356 would remove another layer of laws prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana, but federal prohibition will remain on the books.

Despite these efforts, the federal government still claims the power to deem marijuana illegal in New Mexico, and everywhere else in the U.S.

However, FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law. By ending most of the state’s prohibition, New Mexico would sweep away a vast majority of the basis for 99 percent of marijuana arrests.

Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly annual budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution either. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state assistance.

With 33 states including allowing cannabis for medical or recreational use today, the feds find themselves in a position where they simply can’t enforce prohibition anymore.

The lesson here is pretty straightforward. When enough people say, “No!” to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats.


HB356 now moves to the Senate, where it has until March 16 to act on the bill. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has not weighed in on the bill itself, but during her campaign for office last year she said she would work with the legislature “to move towards legalizing recreational cannabis in a way that improves public safety, boosts state revenues and allows for New Mexico businesses to grow into this new market.”

Michael Boldin

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



Featured Articles

On the Constitution, history, the founders, and analysis of current events.

featured articles


Tenther Blog and News

Nullification news, quick takes, history, interviews, podcasts and much more.

tenther blog


State of the Nullification Movement

232 pages. History, constitutionality, and application today.

get the report


Path to Liberty

Our flagship podcast. Michael Boldin on the constitution, history, and strategy for liberty today

path to liberty


Maharrey Minute

The title says it all. Mike Maharrey with a 1 minute take on issues under a 10th Amendment lens. maharrey minute

Tenther Essentials

2-4 minute videos on key Constitutional issues - history, and application today


Join TAC, Support Liberty!

Nothing helps us get the job done more than the financial support of our members, from just $2/month!



The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose - the "Foundation of the Constitution."

10th Amendment



Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history - and today.