New Mexico Drug Testing Laws and Regulations


New Mexico

Statute of Order

Currently Not Available

Covered Employers

Currently Not Available

Applicant Testing

Currently Not Available

Employee Testing

Currently Not Available

Conditions & Methods

Currently Not Available

Important Bulletpoints

Owners and operators of commercial motor vehicles or commuter services are required by law to certify that they provide an in-house drug and alcohol testing program for persons seeking to be a commuter service driver. Alternatively the motor carrier service may be part of a consortium that provides a compliant drug and alcohol testing program.

The validation of a medical review officer is a requirement for a positive test result as part of the mandatory drug and alcohol testing program of a commercial motor carrier.

The State of New Mexico allows for the medical use of marijuana under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. However, the law does not provide immunity from criminal prosecution for using cannabis while on duty or at the workplace.

For purposes of compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Act, controlled substance testing performed on a claimant employee may be considered for claims cases only if it complies with federal Department of Transportation procedures for transportation workplace drug and alcohol testing programs. Furthermore, alcohol or drug tests are required to be conducted only by federal Department of Transportation certified testing laboratories.

Workers’ compensation may be reduced by ten percent if intoxication or the use of drugs is only contributory to the injury or death. Otherwise, compensation is altogether prohibited for employees whose injury is solely due to the worker being under the influence of non-prescribed depressant, stimulant, hallucinogenic or narcotic drugs.

Medical Marijuana Law

'The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act', Senate Bill 523 was approved on March 13, 2007 and became effective on July 1, 2007.2 This legislature basically removes all state-level criminal penalties relating to the use and possession of medical cannabis or marijuana by qualified patients in a controlled system for lessening symptoms due to debilitating medical conditions and treatments. Designated to administer the program, including the registration of patients, providers and caregivers, is the New Mexico Department of Health.

SJR 5, SJR 6 and HB 75 are the three bills that were not acted on by the New Mexico Legislature before it adjourned on February 18, 2016. These three bills, collectively called the New Mexico Marijuana Legalization Amendment should have appeared on the November 8, 2016 ballot as a constitutional amendment. This amendment would have legalized the use and possession of marijuana for individuals 21 years old and above. The stature for the sale, taxation, production processing, transportation, allowable quantities, and places where hemp and marijuana use are tolerated would have been under the New Mexico Legislature. Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino proposed this amendment.

SJR 5 was passed by the Senate Rules Committee but was not passed on the Senate floor.

Qualifying Medical Conditions

• ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease

• Crohn's disease

• Cancer

• Epilepsy

• Hepatitis C

• Glaucoma


• Huntington's Disease

• Intractable nausea/vomiting

• Hospice care

• Multiple Sclerosis

• Parkinson's Disease


• Severe chronic pain

• Damage to the spinal cord's nervous tissue

• Painful peripheral neuropathy

• Severe cachexia

• Ulcerative colitis

• Spasmodic torticollis


• A person who figures in a vehicular accident while under the influence of marijuana is liable for damages and criminal prosecution.

• A person in possession of marijuana while in a school bus or public transportation, on school property or grounds, in the workplace of the registered patient/caregiver, recreation center, youth center, public park and other public places is liable for civil penalty or criminal prosecution.

Recreational Marijuana Law

The New Mexico Marijuana Legalization Amendment was proposed by Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino as Senate Joint Resolution 2. This amendment would have been added to Article 20 of New Mexico Constitution. This measure would have legalized the possession and personal use of cannabis by people 21 years old and over.


• Possession and use of marijuana of people below 21 is deemed illegal.

• A person under the influence of marijuana is not exempted from criminal prosecution and damages if he is involved in a vehicular accident.

• It is prohibited to possess and use marijuana in school grounds and all other public places.

Effect on Drug testing in the Workplace

Drug testing in the workplace is not required nor is it prohibited. Employers have the option to subject his employees to drug testing in the workplace. Federal employees and those handling highly sensitive jobs are required to undertake drug testing. Sources:


Law applies to physicians, patients and caregivers and licensed producers.

Quantity Allowed

6oz of usable medical cannabis is allowed at any given time.

How Obtained

Department of Health licensed producers.

Liability Protections

Physicians and Licensed Producers: not subject to arrest, prosecution, criminal or other penalties or property forfeiture. Patients and Caregivers: not subject to arrest, prosecution, criminal or other penalties or property forfeiture.

Statutory Requirements for Authorized Use

Registry ID card required. Written certification from practitioner, registered with Department of Health and renewed annually.

New Mexico Drug Testing Law

There are some states that have explicit and comprehensive laws that either prohibit or regulate drug testing laws in private companies. To date, there are no New Mexico drug testing laws that restrict or control drug testing for prospective and current employees by their employer. In general, Federal government law does require New Mexico drug tests for those with jobs in industries such as aviation, transportation and contractors with the Department of Defense and NASA. As a whole, employers are at liberty to apply drug testing program in New Mexico.

Grounds for Legal Claims for Drug Testing in New Mexico

Since there are no explicit New Mexico drug testing law that applies to private employment, it does not mean that an employee is left unprotected in the event of an illegal drug test. How is this?

Discrimination based on Disability: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employee or prospective employee is not liable for a positive result on his New Mexico drug test if he is taking medication for his disability. It is a fact that there are some prescribed medications that will yield positive results on a drug test and that there are “illegal” drugs that are legitimately prescribed by doctors for specific medical conditions. In these circumstances, an employer has no grounds to disqualify or terminate a prospective employee or employee, unless the drug in question is medical marijuana.

Discrimination based on Race, Religion, Gender or Age: An employer is liable to discrimination if he requires a certain group of employees based on the mentioned particulars on New Mexico drug testing. If an employer subjects employees or prospective employees to any indecent act to undergo drug test in New Mexico, he is liable to invasion of privacy. It goes without saying that in the event that an employer knowingly and maliciously leaks the result of a false positive drug test of a prospective employee or employee, he is liable to a case of defamation.

Employer’s Rights in New Mexico Drug Test

If an employee tests positive in a drug test in New Mexico, the concerned employer has the right to file either an economic or non-economic action against the known illegal drug distributor. An employer is free from the obligation of shouldering unemployment benefits of an employee fired from his job based on his positive drug test. Should an employee suffer a work-related injury while he is under the influence of illegal drugs, the employer is not liable but not when the employer fully knows that the employee is using prohibited drugs. This stipulation does not apply to employees who are using prohibited drugs prescribed by a legitimate medical practitioner.

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Material on these pages (state drug testing laws and drug testing regulations) is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, medical or technical advice. This drug testing related information is not intended as substitute for obtaining legal advice from attorney, or a relevant medical technical or financial professional. TestCountry is not a law firm or a legal agency, therefore cannot guarantee the accuracy of this content. Drug testing laws are collected from legal and/or state sources, and it may or may not be valid by the time you are viewing it. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Confirm BioSciences Inc. DBA TestCountry.