Weed in D.C. — What's Legal and What's Not
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Weed in D.C. — What’s Legal and What’s Not

It can be confusing to know what is legal and not in D.C. when it comes to weed use, so we are here to tell you everything you need to know. It’s vital that if you’re going to partake in any cannabis products, including smoking and vaping, that you take the time to educate yourself on the laws surrounding it before doing so.

Weed or marijuana is an illegal substance under federal law. Still, medical patients have some exceptions with a prescription from their doctor, which allows them access through dispensaries only licensed by D.C.’s Department of Health (DOH).

There are also restrictions on where these dispensaries may be located. For example, they cannot be within 1,000 feet of a public or private school, college, or university, a public playground; a public library; any other licensed dispensary.

If you are caught with marijuana in D.C., it is likely that you will be arrested and charged with possession of up to two ounces which carries a penalty of $25 for the first offense, fines may reach up to $1000 if .e. a max of $5000 for subsequent offenses, and up to 180 days in jail.”

What Is Legal?

It may be legal to use weed in D.C., but there is still a lot of confusion about what you can and cannot do with it here.

  • Weed has been legalized in D.C., meaning that people over 21 years old are allowed to use marijuana recreationally, possess up to two ounces, and grow up to six plants in their home (without seeds).
  • Marijuana should be obtained through gifting or on the black market as long as it is in D.C., but crossing state lines is a federal offense, so be careful!
  • You can transfer one ounce or less of marijuana to another adult aging 21 years old and above as long as it is in D.C., but this isn’t legal if the person receiving marijuana wants to use it outside of D.C.
  • Weed can also be used for medical reasons with a physician’s recommendation and a valid registration card from your state government.
  • You are allowed to use marijuana recreationally in private residences only with others who are over 21 years old. If you’re in a private residence, it’s okay to smoke weed as long as the owner doesn’t mind and there is no public nuisance.
  • For medical marijuana patients, you are allowed to grow up to six plants (up from three) and possess 24 ounces or less in the District.
  • CBD oil is legal and available for purchase at marijuana dispensaries in the District.
  • One can possess marijuana-related paraphernalia, such as pipes and bongs, in the District.
  • People who are twenty-one or older have the right to consume marijuana for recreational purposes in D.C.’s bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and other establishments.
  • In D.C., you are allowed to use marijuana in a public place like a sidewalk or park as long as it is not considered disturbing the peace. There’s no open container law violation happening at the same time.
  • A person can smoke weed recreationally only if they’re inside their own private property.
  • No other states in the U.S., besides D.C., have legalized recreational weed use — yet!

What Is Not Legal?

It may be legal to use marijuana recreationally in D.C., but this does not give residents or visitors carte blanche to use it wherever they please.

  • You are not allowed to smoke weed in public spaces, except for certain designated areas.
  • It is illegal to grow cannabis plants that have more than three percent THC unless you’re a registered medical marijuana patient or caregiver with the Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program.
  • Marijuana is still illegal on federal land, which includes all national parks and forests. This also means that it’s not legal to use marijuana inside your own car if you’re parked on a federal parking lot or street outside of D.C., including when crossing state lines.
  • It’s illegal to sell weed of any kind, and carrying more than two ounces can lead to arrest.
  • Smoking weed is not permitted, and a person can be charged with possession if they either have weed on them or are caught smoking within 1000 feet of a school, public park, city playground, restaurant that has more than 50% food sales, bar with liquor license–and basically any place other people might be around.
  • D.C.’s Initiative 71 does not allow for home cultivation of marijuana or consumption in public places, but there are no laws against smoking weed outside as long as it is on private property and away from pedestrians and children.
  • The sale of marijuana (in any form) remains illegal because D.C. is a federal district.
  • D.C. schools have strict policies against any form of marijuana use on campus, but it’s not clear how the law will be enforced because it’s not a crime.
  • In D.C., it is illegal to use marijuana or any form of paraphernalia anywhere in public, including sidewalks and recreation areas (parks).
  • You can’t smoke weed on any federal land within D.C.’s boundaries; this includes parks, streets, sidewalks, and other public spaces outside of private residences.
  • You can’t buy or sell marijuana in any form, including edibles like brownies and lollipops unless they’re made with hemp oil for uses such as cooking.
  • If you have 20 plants at home, it’s legal to grow them!

How to Get Marijuana in D.C.?

You can get marijuana from dispensaries shops in D.C. Still, you cannot sell them to anyone else or buy them if you’re not over 21 years old, and the penalties for selling marijuana are far more severe than those for using it.

It’s against the law to sell or purchase marijuana in D.C., though it’s not uncommon for people who grow their own stash to “donate” a few joints to friends and colleagues who smoke weed. So the only legal way of obtaining weed is through growing your own plants! Weed does grow wild on some D.C. streets (especially near Dupont Circle), but there is no way to know which plants are legal and which ones aren’t, so eating any wild weed can be dangerous.

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