Know Washington’s Laws
Initiative 502 legalized cannabis use for adults however there are still a number of restrictions. It is important for you to be aware of the following laws:
Age Limit – Only adults age 21 and older can purchase and possess cannabis.
Purchase Limits – Adults age 21 and over can purchase up to one ounce of useable cannabis (the harvested flowers, or “bud”), 16 ounces of cannabis-infused edibles in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form, and 7 grams of cannabis concentrates.
Buying and Selling – Cannabis can only be sold and purchased at state-licensed retail stores. A valid photo ID is required, and no one under 21 is allowed on the retail premises. Many retail cannabis stores only accept cash.
No Resale or Giveaways – It remains a felony for anyone who is not a licensed retailer to sell or provide cannabis to anyone else. Providing or selling cannabis to a minor under the age of 18 can result in up to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Public Use – It is illegal to consume cannabis in view of the public.
Driving – It is illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis if you have more than 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood. Doing so may result in significant legal penalties.
Travel – It is illegal to take cannabis outside of Washington. Doing so may result in significant legal penalties.
Driving high… Don’t do it.
Sure, pot might make you drive a bit slower and less aggressively, but it’s still driving under the influence.
Although some states make a distinction between cannabis metabolites left behind in one’s bloodstream days or even weeks after smoking, many states consider any level of THC in the bloodstream to be driving under the influence. Stay informed by brushing up on Washington’s cannabis and DUI laws so you’re familiar with the penalties you could face if you’re busted behind the wheel.
The fact that a person has been entitled to use a drug under the laws of the state shall not constitute a defense against the charge of driving under the influence. Analyses of blood samples obtained more than two hours after the alleged driving may be used as evidence that within two hours of the alleged driving, a person had a THC concentration of 5.00 or more and shall be considered to be guilty of a DUI. In any case in which the analysis shows a THC concentration above 0.00, it may be used as evidence that a person was under the influence of or affected by cannabis. It is an affirmative defense if a defendant can provide evidence that they consumed a sufficient quantity of cannabis after the time of driving but before the administration of a blood analysis to cause the THC concentration in their blood to be 5.00 or more within two hours of driving.
- 1st offense: One day up to 364 days in jail, 24 hours of which may not be suspended unless the offender’s physical or mental well-being is at risk, $350 up to $5,00 fine, driver’s license revocation for 90 days, court may order 15 days of electronic home monitoring or a 90-day period of 24/7 sobriety program monitoring, may be required to have IID installed on vehicle.
- 2nd offense (within seven years): 30 days up to 364 days in jail, 60 days of electronic home monitoring or an additional four days in jail or six months in a 24/7 sobriety program, $500 up to $5,000 fine, license revocation for two years, vehicle is subject to seizure and forfeiture, may be required to install an IID on vehicle.
- 3rd or 4th offense (within seven years): 90 days up to 364 days in jail, six months in a 24/7 sobriety program, 120 days of electronic home monitoring, $1,00 up to $5,000 fine, license revocation for three years, vehicle is subject to seizure and forfeiture, offender may be required to install IID on vehicle.
For more information, please refer to Rev. Code Wash. 46.61.5055.
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