In Washington, D.C., it has been a long legal battle to grow, possess and use recreational marijuana, but both producers and consumers should still be diligently cautious so as to comply with all of the many restrictions in place and not to be penalized for their part in the growing cannabis market of the capital city.
Medical weed has been legal in town since 1998, but it was late 2014 when constituents in the District overwhelmingly voted to also legalize what is still not permissible in some states across the country — recreational marijuana.
The nation’s capital also allows out-of-state patients to get their weed in town. Currently, patients from 27 states can visit one of D.C.’s six dispensaries to get their medicine as long as they bear a valid prescription. Four more states are under review by the District authorities to be included in the same list.
With as much freedom it grants to not only users but also producers of marijuana, D.C. has a distinct status in all of the U.S. The lynchpin of the publicly approved “Initiative 71” in 2014 is that pot shouldn’t be sold under any circumstances. That, however, isn’t entirely clear for everybody. And after five years, people still search for what they can and cannot do with marijuana in town.
Here is a quick look at what is legal and what is not according to the D.C. Government:
For those who are 21 and older, it is legal to;
- Possess two ounces (56.7 grams) of marijuana.
- Grow within their primary residence up to six plants, but only three of them must be mature at most.
- Consume marijuana on private property, no matter whether you are an owner, tenant or just a visitor there.
- And transfer one ounce (28.35 grams) of weed to another person who is also 21 or older, but no money, goods or services could be exchanged because of that.
To sum up, it is OK for adults to grow, possess, smoke and even transfer marijuana in the District as long as they are older than 21 and do not engage each other in a seller-buyer relationship.
Do These and You’re in Trouble!
You would, therefore, be violating laws if you are younger than 21 as a producer, possessor or consumer of marijuana. The police would then have the right to seize all your pot and even arrest you if you also have more than two ounces.
Even if you are not younger than 21, doing the following will get you in trouble:
- Possess more than two ounces (56.7 grams) of marijuana.
- Grow outside your primary residence or more than three mature plants at a time or more than six of them regardless of their growth stage.
- Consume marijuana in public spaces, including on the streets, inside any vehicle, cafe, club, bar or restaurant.
- Transfer more than one ounce (28.35 grams) of marijuana to another person.
- Or simply sell any amount of marijuana to anyone.
- And finally, operate a vehicle or a boat under the influence of cannabis.
People in the District may face arrest if they fail to comply with the “home grow – no sell – home use” marijuana law. The specific penalties for certain violations are as follows:
- 60 days in jail or $500 fine for consuming marijuana in public.
- Six months in jail or $1,000 fine for selling marijuana.
- License and certificate cancellation for people who allow use of marijuana at their businesses, no matter whether inside or outside patios and rooftops.