Overview of Washington Marijuana Laws
Washington was one of the first states (along with Colorado) to legalize the possession and recreational use of marijuana, but the state still prohibits private cultivation of the plant. While private use is legal, consumption of marijuana in public places remains illegal and subject to a civil penalty of no more than $100. Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana, however, is a crime punishable by incarceration and fines.
How the Sale and Purchase of Marijuana is Regulated in Washington
Marijuana is regulated by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which establishes zoning requirements and other rules for retail sales of the herb. For instance, retailers may not locate within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, child care center, public park, or library. Existing retailers may not incorporate marijuana sales into their business; in other words, they must sell marijuana products and paraphernalia only.
Consumers must be 21 and older in order to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana. The law does not allow for the personal cultivation of marijuana, however.
Washington Medical Marijuana Laws
The state also allows for the medical use of marijuana for approved patients. Those who are eligible for the program may possess up to 24 ounces of useable marijuana and may grow up to 15 plants.
The main provisions of Washington's marijuana laws are listed below, with links to related articles. See Drug Manufacturing and Cultivation to learn more.
||69.50.101, et seq.
||No penalty for private possession and consumption of 1 oz. or less, but a maximum fine of $100 for public consumption of less than 1 oz. Possession of 1 oz. to 40 g is a misdemeanor (up to 90 days incarceration); more than 40 g is a felony (up to 5 years incarceration)
||Less than 40 g.: misdemeanor, up to 5 yrs. in correctional facility and $10,000; Subsequent offense: up to double penalties; Unlawful delivery of controlled substance used by person delivered to and resulting in user's death: deliverer guilty of controlled substance homicide: Class B felony; the law unclear on how to legally obtain small amounts of marijuana for personal use.
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Washington drug crime attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Washington Marijuana Laws: Related Resources