Know the facts about marijuana!
What’s no longer a criminal violation?
In November 2014, District voters approved the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Initiative (commonly known as Initiative 71). The new law becomes effective on February 26, 2015.
As a result, it is legal for a person who is at least 21 years old to:
- Possess two ounces or less of marijuana;
- Transfer one ounce or less of marijuana to another person who is at least 21 years old, so long as there is no payment made or any other type of exchange of goods or services;
- Cultivate within their residence up to six marijuana plants, no more than three of which are mature;
- Possess marijuana-related drug paraphernalia – such as bongs, cigarette rolling papers, and cigar wrappers – that is associated with one ounce or less of marijuana; or
- Use marijuana on private property.
What is still a criminal violation?
A person can still be arrested for:
- Selling any amount of marijuana to another person;
- Possessing more than two ounces of marijuana;
- Operating a vehicle or boat under the influence of marijuana; or
- Smoking, eating, or drinking marijuana – or holding or carrying a lighted roll of paper or other lighted smoking equipment filled with marijuana – in any public space
Marijuana possession by persons under 21 years of age is not allowed.
Impact on authorized medical marijuana users.
A person who has been issued a Medical Marijuana Card by the District Department of Health may still possess up to 2 ounces of medical marijuana per month. However, the utilization of medical marijuana publicly remains a criminal offense and may end in arrest.
Enforcement by federal enforcement agencies.
Although the District of Columbia has decriminalized possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana for persons over the age of 21, federal law continues to ban the possession or use of any amount of marijuana. As a result, federal enforcement officers may arrest anyone within the District of Columbia for possession or use of any amount of marijuana as a violation of federal law.