State Laws

DC Marijuana Laws

     

DC Laws
All fifty states have different laws in relation to what is considered illegal in terms of marijuana possession. The District of Columbia allows the possession of marijuana for medical purposes. As research shows that marijuana can assist in treatment for some medical conditions, laws allow certain amounts of marijuana to be legal. Marijuana has been proven to assist in nausea relief, pain relief, glaucoma treatment, treating spasticity, stimulating appetites, and many disorders restricting movement.

Possession Laws
In the District of Columbia any amount of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor offense, unless otherwise deemed for medical purposes. A marijuana misdemeanor offense can result in a fine of one thousand dollars and up to six months in jail. Those who are convicted for a first offense may be eligible for probation where all charges will be dismissed once the probationary time period is complete. Unlike the fifty states, the District of Columbia does not specifically provide different penalties based on the amount of marijuana a person possesses upon arrest.

Cultivation and Sale
The sale or cultivation of any amount of marijuana is considered a felony offense and can result in a fine up to fifty thousand dollars and up to five years in prison. If a sale is made within one thousand feet of or on school property, or any other specific areas, an individual will be convicted of a double felony. This kind of sale will result in a double fine penalty of one hundred thousand dollars and double incarceration penalty up to ten years in prison. Specified areas include public housing, libraries, youth centers, pools, playgrounds, and arcades.

Selling marijuana to a minor, no matter the amount, will also result in a double felony offense. Under these circumstances an individual will also have doubled incarceration penalties no greater than ten years and doubled fine penalties no greater than one hundred thousand dollars.

Other Laws
The District of Columbia also has specific laws in relation to the circumstances around marijuana crimes. Any individual who is convicted of a marijuana charge, either misdemeanor offense or felony offense, will automatically have his or her driver's license suspended. Driver's license suspension varies and is based on the kind of crime -- possession, trafficking, cultivation, or sale -- and can range from six months of suspension to two years of suspension.

The possession of paraphernalia is considered a misdemeanor offense and can result in thirty days of incarceration and a fine of one hundred dollars. The sale of paraphernalia is considered a misdemeanor offense and can result in a fine of one thousand dollars and up to six months in jail. Selling paraphernalia to a minor is a felony offense in the District of Columbia and will result in a fine of fifteen thousand dollars and up to eight years of incarceration.

Release
The District of Columbia has conditional release alternatives for first-time offenders. If an individual is to be prosecuted for a marijuana offense, he or she can instead choose a probationary time period rather than be subject to criminal trial. The arrest and charge is then erased from the individual's record when he or she completes probation.

See also:
Washington DC Divorce
Washington DC DUI Laws
Washington DC Labor Laws