Recreational use of marijuana in Washington

People who live in Washington State can get the truth here about legalized use and possession of marijuana.

Washington became one of the first two states to legalize the use of marijuana in the country. Just across the river from Clark County, neighboring Oregon could be next up as the topic is on the ballot this November. This makes it important for area residents to get the facts about what is-and what is not-legal in order to prevent unexpected and unpleasant criminal charges for drug offenses.

What are the basics of Washington's marijuana laws?

The Bellingham Herald provides a good overview on the heart of the legalization of marijuana in Washington. The laws cover possession and consumption of the substance and include the following:

  • No person under the age of 21 may legally possess, buy or use marijuana.
  • Marijuana cannot be consumed in open public view on open public property by any person regardless of age. Use of marijuana on private property that is viewable by the public, however, is allowed.
  • A person can possess as much as 72 ounces a liquid product containing marijuana at one time.
  • A person can possess a maximum of 16 ounces of a solid product that has been infused with marijuana at one time.
  • A person cannot possess more than one ounce of marijuana in natural form at any given time.

Possession of the maximum amount of more than one form of marijuana at a time is prohibited. For example, a person possessing a 16-ounce candy bar infused with marijuana and 72 ounces of a liquid marijuana-infused product at the same time would be in violation of the law and subject to criminal charges. Marijuana is also not allowed to be taken out of the state into either Canada or other states in which it is illegal.

Marijuana and driving

Drugged driving is monitored as is drunk driving. A person with over five nanograms of marijuana measured in the blood in less than two hours after driving may be charged with impaired driving. Law enforcement can use blood tests taken after the two-hour post-driving period to determine blood levels of the drug.

Drugged driving offenses can be either misdemeanors or Class C felonies depending upon the circumstances. For example, persons with more than four previous convictions for drugged or drunk driving who are charged with a new drugged driving offense are likely to face felony charges.

Ask an attorney

Because the legalization of marijuana is still relatively new in Washington, there can be many questions to be answered. Anyone who is charged with drug crimes relating to marijuana should talk with an attorney for help.

Keywords: marijuana, drug, arrest, charges