Pot Officially Legalized in Washington, D.C.


As of midnight Thurday, February 26, the possession of small amounts of marijuana became legal in the District of Columbia, launching a pot "green rush" despite a warnings from the U.S. Congress over the new standards.

In November, during the last election, residents of Washigton, D.C. voted to pass Initiative 71, which legalized the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and the cultivation of up to three marijuana plants for individuals over the age of 21.

With this the U.S. capital has teamed up with Washington state, Alaska and Colorado in making pot lawful for recreational use, reflecting a rapidly shifting legal landscape for the drug. It remains illegal under federal law.

While other states with legalized marijuana only allow the possession of an ounce of the drug, Washignton, D.C. doubles that amount with two-ounce max. However, anything beyond this amount would result to a $1,000 fine and potential jail sentence.

Here is a cheat sheet to help you better understand what is allowed and not allowed - as compiled by ABC News.

In D.C., you can:

  • possess up to two ounces of marijuana on your person. Any amount more than two ounces is still illegal and will amount to a misdemeanor with a fine of $1,000, or as much as to six months in jail.

  • give up to one ounce as a gift. Though selling is prohibited, individuals may exchange as much as once ounce as a gift.

  • grow up to six marijuana plants. However, the law says you may only possess three “mature, flowering plants” at any given time -- with the provision intended to make it more difficult to grow enough marijuana to sell.

In D.C., you cannot ...

  • grow marijuana outside of your residence. The law allows for growing, but it must be “within the interior of a house, building or rental unit that constitutes such a person’s principal residence.”

  • consume marijuana in public. You can have it on your person, but you cannot legally consume it publicly in any fashion.

  • sell the substance in any quantity. Purchasing or selling the drug is illegal. However, you may transfer up to one ounce to another individual for free as a gift.

  • drive while under the influence of marijuana. Unlike alcohol, there’s no “legal limit,” per se. It’s illegal to drive while under the influence of any amount of marijuana.

  • have marijuana in your possession on any federal land. Legalization is only in local D.C. territory. Some examples of places you cannot have the substance in your possession include the National Mall and the Capitol.

In D.C., it’s not a good idea to ...

  • have pot in your possession anywhere you might be stopped by U.S. Park Police or Capitol Police. The Capitol Police and Park Police enforce federal law around the Capitol. According to the U.S. Capitol Police’s website, this includes about a 47-square block radius around the Capitol. So even if you are not going anywhere you can actually see the Capitol building, you might want to think twice before putting that weed in your pocket.


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