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Marijuana in D.C. — what’s legal, what’s not

Marijuana Legalization FAQ

A new marijuana legalization initiative has taken effect in D.C. Last fall nearly two-thirds of District voters okayed the regulation that legitimizes the possession of marijuana for recreational use.

Below you can find information delivered by the D.C. Government on what is legal and what is illegal under Initiative 71.

Question: What is legal under D.C. Marijuana Laws and Initiative 71?

Answer: For adults of age 21 or older it is legal:

  1. To possess 2 ounces or less of marijuana;
  2. To grow marijuana within their private property up to six marijuana plants, no more than three of which are fully grown;
  3. To give 1 ounce or less of marijuana to another individual only if:

(a) no services, goods or money is exchanged

(b) the receiving individual is of age 21 or older

  1. To use cannabis in private properties.

Question: How about sales? Can I purchase marijuana?

Answer: No. Buying marijuana will remain illegal. Concerning to stores that offer it, well, D.C. won’t have any of such stores, yet there is still much to come to that.

Question: What are the rules of Initiative 71 on individuals under 21?

Answer: Any individual under 21 years of age is still restricted from having any amount of cannabis. If marijuana is found in the ownership of an individual under age of 21, police will confiscate the marijuana. If the individual has more than two ounces, the individual can be taken into custody.

Question: What will the Initiative still prohibit?

Answer: Even with the execution of Initiative 71, it will be considered criminal for anyone to:

  • Possess more than 2 ounces of marijuana;
  • Smoke or anyhow use marijuana in public places or any other place in which public is present;
  • Sell any amount of marijuana to another individual; 
  • Operate a boat or a vehicle under the influence of marijuana

Question: So soon one can just purchase some weed?

Answer: Not really. The law allows only home cultivation. Individuals can transfer up to one ounce, however, there can be no exchange of services, goods or money.

Question: Where is it okay to smoke marijuana?

Answer: Allowed only in private properties.

Question: Can I smoke in my car?

Answer: No, you cannot smoke in the car, even if the car is stopped. And if you are driving after using marijuana, you will be taken into custody based on the District’s Impaired Driving regulations.

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