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Washington is the second state in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes; it is also legal for medical use. Even though marijuana is legal in Washington, there are still laws regarding its use. Learning more about the laws surrounding marijuana use can help ensure you stay on the right side of the law and do not end up facing harsh penalties for misuse. Below are answers to some of the most common questions we hear from clients.
If you still have questions about marijuana laws in Washington, call Twyford Law Office at (509) 327-0777.
If you are over 21 years of age and have valid identification (from any U.S. state or a passport), you can legally buy marijuana in the state. Some areas have outlawed dispensaries; you’ll need to find a location that allows you to purchase cannabis and related products. A dispensary will sell cannabis-infused products and cannabis itself, along with lighters, pipes, papers, and more.
You can use marijuana in most private places – including your own residence – but you can be fined if you smoke in a school zone, park, or on public transportation.
You can buy up to an ounce of cannabis in flower form at a time.
Other limits on buying are outlined below:
These buying limits are also the maximum amounts you can carry around or have with you at any given time. If you carry more than this, you could be charged with intent to distribute and face jail time or fines.
If you use medical marijuana and have a prescription for it, you may have up to 24 ounces at a time; you can also grow your own plants at home for personal use. You can have up to 15 plants if you have a prescription for medical marijuana from your doctor.
Washington has consumption laws that outline where cannabis products can be used. You can’t smoke it in a public place; it also can’t be used in a private setting that is close to a public place if other people could detect the odor of the smoke. Your own home, a private club, or a marijuana-friendly hotel are all good places to use marijuana.
If you drive and have at least five nanograms per milliliter of THC in your blood, you can be charged with DUI. You can be tested on the spot if you are pulled over – and if you refuse, you still face fines and penalties. The best way to avoid being charged with a DUI is to avoid smoking and driving entirely.
You can legally buy marijuana in Washington, but you can’t take it out of the state. Crossing state lines with it is illegal; you can’t mail it out of the state either. Both the sender and the recipient can face penalties if marijuana is sent through the mail; these could include jail time and hefty fines. You may transport marijuana for your own personal use in the amount outlined above to get it from the dispensary to your home or other acceptable use location.
You are not permitted to grow your own recreational marijuana in Washington. This restriction covers private individuals, processors, and even dispensaries. A grow operation can face big fines and jail time. The only businesses allowed to legally grow marijuana are licensed by the state and deliver their harvest to official dispensaries.
You must be at least 21 years old to buy or use marijuana in the state. A minor caught with marijuana faces fines, a stint in rehab, and driver’s license suspension. Minors are also not allowed to enter dispensaries in the state. The sole exception is minors who have a prescription for medical marijuana from their physician.
If you are using marijuana in your own home or another legal place, you can safely do so. If you travel with more than the stated amount, try to transport marijuana out of state, light up in a public place, or drive under the influence, you could be charged. Fines and penalties vary and can have a lasting impact on your life.
Contact us at (509) 327-0777 if you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense in Spokane – we’ll be able to vigorously defend you and fight for a positive resolution to your case.