New Marijuana law in DC

Mark Rollins Criminal Law

New marijuana Law in DC

The new marijuana law  in DC has changed as of July 17, 2014.    

In the District of Columbia you may possess small amounts of marijuana..    It is no longer a crime in the District of Columbia as long as:

  • Possess one ounce or less of marijuana;
  • Transfer one ounce or less of marijuana to another person, so long as there is no payment made or any other type of exchange of goods or services; or
  • Possess marijuana-related drug paraphernalia – such as bongs, cigarette rolling papers, and cigar wrappers – that are associated with one ounce or less of marijuana.

$25.00 fines for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

You can still receive a civil infraction if you possess one ounce or less of marijuana and stopped by a police in the District of Columbia.     Furthermore, the police have the right to confiscate visible marijuana or paraphernalia.   Furthermore, if you must provide your name and address to the officer.  If you fail to give your information to the officer, he may place your under arrest and you are subject of to fine of $100.00 if you are convicted for failing to give you name and address.

Similar to other civil infractions you may appeal to an Administrative law Judge.

Certain aspects of Marijuana are still Illegal.

It is still against the law and you can be charged criminally if you:

  • Sell marijuana to another person;
  • Operating a vehicle or boat under the influence of marijuana;
  • Smoking, eating, or drinking marijuana – or holding or carrying a lighted roll of paper or other lighted smoking equipment filled with marijuana – in any public space, such as:
    • On any street, sidewalk, alley, park, or parking area;
    • In a vehicle on any street, alley, park, or parking area; or
    • Any place to which the public is invited.
    • Medical marijuana are still not allowed to possess in public (allowed 2 ounces)

Using marijuana in public is against the law and carries a maximum penalty of sentenced up to 60 days in jail or a fine of up to $500.   The prosecution entity is the Office of the Attorney General.  There is different than other drug prosecution in the District of Columbia.  All other controlled substances violation in the District of Columbia are prosecuted by the United States Attorneys Office for the District of Columbia.

Still Illegal in Surrounding jurisdiction and Federal Property

Only the District of Columbia has decriminalized possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.  Virginia, Maryland and  federal law continues to prohibit the possession or use of any amount of marijuana.   If you are in the District and in the public parks you can still be arrested if you are in federal park such as   the National Mall, Rock Creek Park, or any other National Park Service land.  The U.S. Attorneys office for the District of Columbia will prosecute you if you caught on federal land even if you have 1 ounce or less marijuana.

The Medical Marijuana Act

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Special Police Orders regarding New Marijuana law in the District of Columbia

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The MPD position on marijuana in the District of Columbia.