The use of marijuana has long been practiced, even before its legalization. Today, users can get a controlled amount of the substance at a specific age.
While there are similar laws in other states, it’s interesting to see that Washington DC legalizes the use of marijuana, given that it’s the seat of the United States’ governing power–the White House.
If you’d like to know DC’s laws on marijuana possession, read on!
Washington’s Initiative 71
Due to congressional blocks, it wasn’t until 2013 that someone could purchase marijuana. The following year in November, its recreational use was approved through the passing of Initiative 71:
- Under Initiative 71, users who are 21 years old and above can possess marijuana for personal use and cultivation.
- The Legalization of Possession of Minimum Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Initiative allows specific individuals two ounces of marijuana and up to six personal plants for growing at home at one time. Only three of the six plants are allowed to mature and flower at the same time.
- As a tourist, you can safely and legally buy marijuana in DC. There are smoke shops that sell concentrates and supplies. You can order them online if you want to be discreet while you’re staying in the state. If you want to know how and where to buy marijuana, go to Cloud 9 DC.
- No matter how many people live in a single household, they can only have 12 plants at the most, with only up to six flowering plants altogether.
- Adults at least 21 years old can share only one ounce of marijuana with another legal age person.
- Marijuana can be given only as a gift and becomes illegal if it’s bought in rechange for money. Likewise, the selling of marijuana plants and flowers are illegal.
- Smoking tools or paraphernalia for the consumption, cultivation, and processing of marijuana are allowed.
- Marijuana plants can only be sold on private property and never in public or on federally-owned land.
At The Workplace
While marijuana is legal, there’s a law that you can only use it during your day-off. Your employer can terminate you from the company if you’ve been found intoxicated from cannabis.
Where Marijuana Can Be Consumed Legally
Marijuana can only be used at home or anywhere away from public view. Hence, marijuana consumption is prohibited in the following locations:
- On the street
- Community parks and national parks
- Restaurants and bars
- Sporting and similar events
- Areas where smoking is banned
- Federal courthouses
- Military bases
- National monuments
- The National Mall
- A 21-year-old adult who involves a minor will result in a penalty or fine, or both.
- If the user has been found with more than two ounces of marijuana to use, it’s punishable by law through incarceration of up to six months and a fine of USD$1,000. But first-time offenders can get up to a year of probation only.
- Those under the suspicion of DUI is legally required to provide the police with urine or blood sample for testing.
- Drivers must submit to law enforcement who put up roadblocks to initiate motorist inspection for driving without a license and/or intoxication.
- There’s no written agreement on how much marijuana in the system is prohibited, but consumption while driving is illegal and should be avoided.
Once a suspected intoxicated driver has been stopped, the police can initiate the following:
- Ask questions to test possible intoxication.
- Will be asked to perform actions such as the one-leg test, looking down, and watch for signs of swaying or lack of control when holding one foot up. Another test is when the driver is asked to walk in a straight line.
- Watch for physical signs of substance use such as dilated pupils, the smell of pot, shivering, and laid-back or relaxed behavior.
Failing all tests can get you arrested and get tested for THC substance in your system. Depending on how many times you got caught, you can get the following penalties:
- 1st offense – USD$300 fine and 90-day imprisonment
- 2nd offense – USD$1,000-5,000 fine and imprisonment starting from 5 days up to a year, community service of up to 30 days, and possible suspension of license up to 2 years
- 3rd offense – USD$2,000-10,000 fine, imprisonment starting from 10 days up to a year., community service for at least 2 months, and license suspension up to 60 days.
The law on marijuana for recreational use is murkier and limited for medical purposes. But because of DC’s stance on the use and possession of marijuana, one should realize that it’s a vast improvement yet controlled.
But the acceptance of marijuana doesn’t come without a hitch, as taxation on THC-based products is in the works. Still, it looks like a small price to pay for the legalization of cannabis. If the capital can allow the public to use marijuana, who’s to say that other states won’t follow if they haven’t already?