Washington Weed Law

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.

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.

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.

Code Section 69.50.101, et seq.

Possession       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)

Sale     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.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer.

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