Know the Laws: Recreational Marijuana in Washington State

In 2012, Washington state voted Initiative 502 into law, allowing the decriminalization of recreational marijuana. The law was designed to allow the development of a licensed and regulated system of production and distribution similar to the system already in place to regulate alcohol sales and consumption.

While this has certainly been a boon to recreational marijuana users, it doesn’t mean that Washington is simply a free-for-all when it comes to cannabis use. That’s why new residents and visitors may want to take a look at the details prior to heading to a local cannabis dispensary to ensure that they are up-to-date on legal requirements regarding possession and consumption.

Buying Marijuana

According to Washington laws, a consumer must purchase his or her cannabis products at a licensed marijuana store. These stores are devoted exclusively to the sale of marijuana and marijuana products, and cannot allow the consumption or sampling of these products on their premises.

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Smoking Marijuana

It’s important to note that smoking in public is still illegal. Marijuana and marijuana products can only be consumed on private property that is out of view of the general public. Consumption of marijuana is also prohibited in lounges, clubs, bars, restaurants, concert venues, and most hotels despite the fact that these places are considered private property.

Possessing Marijuana

In order to legally possess or carry marijuana, consumers must be over the age of 21. Adults over this age are allowed to carry up to one ounce of usable marijuana, up to sixteen ounces of solid infused products, and up to 72 ounces of liquid infused products. Usable marijuana refers to the dried flowers used for smoking and vaporizing.

What’s Still Illegal?

It is still illegal to possess any amount of marijuana above the defined limits or to possess any amount of marijuana under the age of 21. It is illegal to produce or sell marijuana without a state license or to transport any type of marijuana product to another state. It’s also important to note that driving under the influence of any cannabis product is considered a criminal offense tantamount to drinking and driving.

Possessing or using cannabis products on any kind of federal land, including national parks and forests, is also illegal. Additionally, while cities cannot outlaw the possession and use of marijuana products on private property, some have chosen to outlaw pot-related businesses, making it harder for consumers to find the products they need.

A Safe and Legal Option

One of the primary benefits of legalizing recreational marijuana is that consumers are now offered a safe and legal option for purchasing these products. They can shop now at a local dispensary, allowing them to ask questions and seek advice from certified industry professionals and staff. Visit findclearchoice.com to find out more about one local shop.

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