Facts About D.C.’s New Marijuana Laws

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(Credit: Stefan Zaklin and ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)

(Credit: Stefan Zaklin and ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)

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LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — If you think marijuana is now legal in Washington, D.C, think again. Although cannabis has been decriminalized, it is still technically against the law and you still can be arrested for possessing any amount of it in the nation’s capital.

Here are some facts about the new marijuana laws in the District, courtesy of the D.C. Police Department:

Not Subject to Criminal Prosecution

  • 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;
  • Possess marijuana-related drug paraphernalia (bongs, rolling papers, cigar wrappers) that are associated with one ounce or less of marijuana.

How Civil Fines Work

  • Anyone in possession of one ounce or less of marijuana can receive a $25 ticket and any visible marijuana or paraphernalia will be seized;
  • Anyone given a ticket must provide their name and address. Failure to do so, or giving false information, could result in an arrest, conviction, and $100 fine;

The tickets can be appealed to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Still A Crime

  • Selling any amount of marijuana to another person;
  • Operating a vehicle or boat under the influence of marijuana;
  • Smoking marijuana or holding or carrying a lighted joint, blunt or other smoking device filled with marijuana in a public space;
  • Eating or drinking a substance containing marijuana in a public space;

Anyone arrested for using marijuana in public faces up to 60 days in jail or a fine of up to $500 if convicted.

What Is A Public Space?

  • Any street, sidewalk, alley, park, or parking area;
  • Inside a vehicle on any street, alley, park, or parking area; or
  • Any place to which the public is invited.

Federal Law Trumps Local Law

  • Federal law enforcement officers are not subject to local laws and can arrest anyone in D.C for the possession or use of any amount of marijuana. This includes U.S. Park Park Police.

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