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Understanding Marijuana laws in Washington DC

February 8, 2019

Marijuana, Pot, Weed, Reefer, Cannabis

Understanding Marijuana laws in Washington DC

Possession Two Ounces Permissible

Possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is allowed in Washington D.C. The law also permits gifts up to one ounce as long as nothing else of value changes hands. Possession of more than two ounces, on the other hand, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines.

Cultivation, Sale, Distribution, and Possession with Intent

Washington D.C. residents may grow up to six plants at home, with no more than three mature at any time. The law also defines a limit of 12 plants, with no more than six mature at once, in a single housing unit, regardless of the number of people living there.

Cultivation, sale, distribution, and possession with intent to distribute less than half a pound all carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail and $1,000 in fines on a first offense. The maximum penalty increases to two years in prison and $5,000 in fines on a subsequent conviction.

Cultivation, sale, distribution, and possession with intent to distribute any amount of marijuana greater than half a pound is punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000. Additional penalties are issued for any such offense committed by an adult over 21 that involves a child or teenager.

Cultivation, sale, distribution, and possession with intent to distribute all carry double penalties when committed within 1,000 feet of a day care center, elementary school, secondary school, vocational school, junior college, college, university, public swimming pool, playground, video arcade, youth recreational center or public library. The same is true of offenses committed on or near a public housing project.

Hash and Concentrates

Possession of small amounts of hashish or liquid marijuana concentrates, such as hash oil, is legal. Under previous law, possession of these substances could bring a penalty up to 180 days in jail and $1,000 in fines. Manufacture of these substances is punishable by up to five years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

Paraphernalia

Possession and sale of cannabis paraphernalia are legal for any person aged 21 or over in Washington, D.C.

Possession and use by a minor. Any possession of marijuana concentrates by a person under 21 years is subject to a penalty of up to 30 days in jail, and fines of up to $100.

Sale and distribution. Sale of paraphernalia is legal in D.C. Any person acting in violation of selling laws can be punished by up to six months in jail, $1,000 in fines, or both. For a subsequent offense, the penalty is up to two years in prison, a maximum $5,000 fine, or both.

PENALTIES

Offense Penalty

2 oz or less* None

6 plants or less* None

More than 2 oz 6 months jail-$1,000 fine.

Initiative 71, which took effect on 2/26/15, permits adults 21 years of age or

older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana in one's primary residence without

penalty. Transfer without payment (but not sell) up to one ounce of marijuana

to another person 21 years of age or older is also permitted. Provided that all

persons residing within a single house or single rental unit may not grow more

than twelve cannabis plants, with six or fewer being mature, flowering plants.

Forfeiture

All substances, raw materials, products, equipment, property, vehicles, research products, paraphernalia,

money and other assets can be seized.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

The "Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010" was signed into law in 2010, allowing qualifying patients access to marijuana. The program allows physicians to recommend the medicinal use of marijuana for any condition they feel will benefit from its use. The law does not allow home cultivation and limits possession to two ounces.

Caregivers - A qualifying patient may designate a person as a caregiver authorized to possess, obtain from a dispensary, and help to administer medical marijuana. The caregiver must be at least 18 years of age and must be registered with the Department of Health as the patient's dedicated caregiver.

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