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Washington

WashingtonMedical and recreational marijuana are both legal in Washington State; voters there approved legalization in November 2012. The first retail cannabis stores opened in July 2014.

Here is Washington’s Food, Drugs, Cosmetics & Poisons Code 69.50.412 in its entirety.

Click here to scroll down for the latest news about cannabis in Washington.

 

Simple Possession

Under Washington’s marijuana law, adults over 21 may freely possess up to an ounce for personal use. There is a $100 civil fine, however, for public consumption of cannabis.

Possession of more than 1 ounce but less than 40 grams (roughly 1.5 ounces) is a misdemeanor and carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 24 hours in jail, with a maximum possible sentence of 90 days in jail and $1,000 in fines. Possession of more than 40 grams is a felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

Possession of any amount with intent to distribute is also a felony with maximum penalties of 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Sale or Distribution

Only licensed retail providers may sell marijuana in Washington. Sale or distribution of any amount of the drug outside the legal retail system is a felony subject to a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Sale or distribution to a minor who is at least 3 years younger than the seller is also a felony and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum of $10,000 in fines. Sale or distribution within 1,000 feet of a school or school bus stop, in a public park, in a public housing development classified as a “drug-free zone,” or on public transit is punished with doubled fines and incarceration.

Cultivation

Residents of Washington may grow up to six plants at home, with no more than three of them mature at any one time. Cultivation of more than this amount can be treated as a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Cultivation within 1,000 feet of a school or school bus stop, in a public park, in a public housing development classified as a “drug-free zone,” or on public transit is punished with doubled fines and jail time.

Hash and Concentrates

Washington allows adults to possess up to 7 grams of hashish or marijuana concentrate. Possession of more than 7 but less than 40 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by 24 hours in jail and a maximum fine of $250.

Possession of more than 40 grams is also a felony and carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Manufacture, sale, distribution, and possession with intent to distribute are all felonies with the same penalties. Penalties are harsher with each subsequent offense.

Paraphernalia

Marijuana paraphernalia is now legal in Washington for adults over 21. Distribution, possession with intent to distribute, and manufacture with intent to distribute carry a penalty of up to 1 year in prison and $50,000 in fines where the paraphernalia is distributed to a minor at least 3 years younger than the distributor.

 

Washington Marijuana Laws
Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine  
Possession
Personal Use
1 oz or less (private possession/consumption) no criminal penalty none $0
1 oz or less (public consumption) civil penalty none $100
1 oz - 40 g misdemeanor 24 hours* - 90 days $1,000
More than 40 g felony 5 years $10,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence
With intent to distribute
Any amount felony 5 years $10,000
Sale or Distribution
Any amount felony 5 years $10,000
To a minor at least 3 years younger felony 10 years $10,000
Within 1000 ft of a school, school bus stop or in a public park, in a public housing project designated as a drug-free zone, in public transportation, and other locations is punishable by double fines and imprisonment.
Cultivation
Any amount felony 5 years $10,000
Within 1000 ft of a school, school bus stop or in a public park, in a public housing project designated as a drug-free zone, in public transportation, and other locations is punishable by double fines and imprisonment.
Hash & Concentrates
Possession of less than 40 g misdemeanor 1 day $250
Possession of more than 40 g felony 5 years $10,000
Manufacture, sale, delivery or possession with intent felony 5 years $10,000
Subsequent offenses carry greater penalties.
Patients may possess hash and concentrates for medical use. See details section.
Paraphernalia
Use, possession, delivery, or possession/manufacture with intent to deliver misdemeanor 24 hours* - 90 days $1,000
To a minor at least 3 years younger misdemeanor 1 year $50,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence
Civil Asset Forfeiture
Vehicles and other property may be seized.
Miscellaneous (license suspensions, civil damages, etc...)
Knowingly maintaining a structure used for drug offenses felony 5 years $10,000
Controlled substances homicide felony 10 years $20,000
Parents of a minor to whom a controlled substance was sold or transferred have a cause of action against the seller.
Juveniles will have their driving privileges revoked.

Latest Washington marijuana news

Washington Lawmakers Move to Change Marijuana Laws

washington-state

Medical marijuana patients in Washington may soon have to join a formal registry if they want to continue getting the benefits that make MMJ more appealing than recreational cannabis. Those benefits include significant tax breaks that make the drug much cheaper and increased possession limits that allow patients to carry much more marijuana than recreational cannabis customers. The Washington State ...

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Church Tries to Close Seattle Pot Shop

A Seattle marijuana merchant, whose shop is located a few yards from a church, has drawn the wrath of local religion. Members of the congregation at the Mt. Calvary Christian Center held a protest outside Uncle Ike’s pot shop Oct. 5. They managed to drive off several customers, but only for a short time. The protesters demanded that the shop ...

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Seattle Dismisses All Public Toking Tickets

A Seattle prosecutor has dropped every ticket issued for public marijuana consumption since the start of the year. The citations were dismissed Sept. 22 following news earlier this year that one city beat cop was responsible for almost every ticket. That officer, who has since been reassigned, is a vocal opponent of legalization. “The police do not write the laws,” ...

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Washington’s First Legal Pot Customer Struggling to Find Work

The man who claimed to be the first person to buy legal marijuana in Washington State, then lost his job when he appeared on TV, is apparently having a tough time finding new work. Mike Boyer was the first person in line at a Spokane weed shop when it opened July 8, the first day of sales in Washington. He ...

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Washington Judge: Small City Can Ban Pot Shops

A small Washington community whose leaders are trying to recriminalize weed statewide won an initial victory in court in late August, though they didn’t convince a judge to overturn the law that makes marijuana legal. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper ruled that Initiative 502, the law that legalized pot, doesn’t prevent the small city of Fife from banning ...

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Man Calls Police, Says Police Stole His Pipe

A Washington man who apparently lost his marijuana pipe made the situation much worse when he called police to report they had stolen it. That’s right, he told the police the police stole his pipe. The man, whose name wasn’t immediately released by police, smoked some meth to calm himself (!?) and, as he later claimed, was robbed by a ...

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Seattle Cop Writes 80 Percent of City’s Weed Tickets

Seattle Police

One Seattle cop wrote 80 percent of marijuana citations during the first six months of 2014, the police department acknowledged in late July. The officer, who told others he considered legalization “silly,” issued 66 of 83 tickets for public consumption in Seattle, Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said. The officer wasn’t identified, but O’Toole said he was reassigned to desk duty. ...

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Washington Pot Shops Can’t Sell Candy

Marijuana Edibles

Legal weed has finally arrived in Washington State, and the program’s unique rules are already having an effect. Marijuana shops in Washington are allowed to sell certain edibles – cookies, brownies, muffins – but not others. Namely, THC-laced candy is now illegal in the state. The Washington Liquor Control Board released guidelines for the newly legal weed industry in July. ...

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Many Fired for Buying First Legal Weed in Town, Gets Job Back

The man who bought the first legal retail weed in Spokane, Wash., was promptly fired after his bosses saw him on TV. But they rehired him two days later, calling the incident a misunderstanding. Michael Boyer, 30, was let go as a part-time employee with a Spokane temp agency, TrueBlue Labor Ready, after bosses saw him on live TV buying ...

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