New Mexico has a history with marijuana that dates back to 1923, when the state prohibited the sale, importation, and cultivation of marijuana. This law didn’t include or mention possession, though those found in possession of marijuana at the time were presumably importing the drug. The prohibition bill was passed without a fight, this didn’t stop the state from becoming a pioneer in medical marijuana, because New Mexico was first in the United States to establish a medical marijuana research program.

In 1978, New Mexico allowed physicians to prescribe marijuana to chemotherapy patients, largely because of the efforts from a young cancer patient, Lynn Pierson. This law was later modified to comply with regulations requiring a research program, but the FDA prolonged the program for months, causing a number of patients to leave the study and find their medication elsewhere. Another 250 patients remained in the program from 1978 to 1986, where they received government issued marijuana or synthetic THC. The study proved that marijuana is the significantly superior medicine, which is why New Mexico state lawmakers are still fighting for this superior medication.