Possessing Over 40 Grams of Cannabis, or Sharing Any Amount, is a Felony in Washington State

cannabisjarmotherjonesIt’s been over three and a half years since voters in Washington State gave approval to Initiative 502, legalizing the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older. Thousands of arrest have been prevented since the law took effect, and millions in dollars of taxes have been garnered for the state. With this in mind, it can be hard to believe – and is incredibly eyeopening to see –¬† some of the laws currently on the books in the state regarding cannabis.

For example, possessing up to 28 grams of cannabis is legal if you’re 21 or older, as established above. However, if you possess 41 grams – less than an ounce and a half – you’re committing a class C felony; this is also true of sharing any amount, including passing a joint or pipe to another person who’s 21 or older. If you’re caught, and prosecuted, you could be imprisoned for up to five years.

This is, at least in our opinions, complete insanity. You can legally purchase an ounce, but if you’re in possession of 50% more than that, you’re committing a crime that comes with the same potential charge as Unlawful Imprisonment (RCW 9A.40.040), Rape of a Child in the Third Degree (RCW 9a.44.079) and Reckless Burning in the First Degree (RCW 9A.48.040), among other heinous crimes.

Because of this massive disparity in the law, it’s vital for those that know about it to educate the public, especially those they know who consume cannabis. It’s also vital for those in Washington who support reforming this law to contact lawmakers to urge them to defelonize the possession of cannabis for personal use.

Those in Washington can look up their district’s legislators by clicking here.

[Updated 8/01/2016]

TheJointBlog

10 comments

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    • Tanya Bowen on August 25, 2016 at 7:43 pm
    • Reply

    Vote yes to i-1362. Its all about the medical affects

    • David on May 14, 2015 at 3:13 pm
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    I’m pretty sure that on July 2, 2016 Washington will have huge medical raids throwing sick patients in city/County jails until they can be tried and sent to the State penitentiary for up to five years. Welcome to legalization, the newest form of State marijuana
    prohibition.

    • David on May 13, 2015 at 8:20 am
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    By legalizing marijuana, Washington brought back the worst parts of prohibition: The threat that one’s life, by just seeking to be well, can be ruined by years in a state prison. Especially egregious, is this is due to a State lottery which benefits just three hundred or so persons in a population of 7 million people , and their quest for greater wealth, all built upon thru backs of the sick and vulnerable.

    • moldy on May 13, 2015 at 6:28 am
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    You can own as many guns as you wish…. wtf is wrong with this country?

    • scott on May 12, 2015 at 6:03 pm
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    If I have read the U.S. constitution right it states: If something is legal it is illegal to charge said person with a crime. Cannabis is legal in Wash. A person camn be fined since it can be regulated but no criminal charges can be charged. Also per constitution when 2/3’s of the states in USA have something Legal and its Illegal federally the Feds MUST lift prohibition like in the 1930’s when 2/3’s of the states legalized alcohol the feds had to lift federal prohibition. So with 36+ states have cannabis legal in one form or another then the feds must make medical cannabis legal federally. Hopefully some of our big advocate groups pick up on this and file litagation in court to make the Feds reschedule or make medical cannabis legal. i sent my emails out lol.

    • kelly on May 12, 2015 at 3:37 pm
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    Everyone needs to sign I-1372 and fast..

    • Joe schmoe on May 11, 2015 at 5:34 pm
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    sorry to dampen your enthusiasm guys but that bill passed two weeks ago (sb 5052).
    however if you sign i-1372 it fixes that, and restores medical.
    look for the initiative at your local dispensary.

    • Sean John on May 11, 2015 at 3:32 pm
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    Medical still allows you to have 24 oz (a pound and a half) of smokeable marijuana. There is a new bill that is set to change that next year but as of right now, 24 oz and up to 15 plants. I urge everyone to sign petitions and find a way to fight the new bill that is supposed to pass.

    • native on May 11, 2015 at 2:55 pm
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    As a medical patient I was told it was legal for me to have up to one lb. in my possession. Now it seems the new bill will change that. Like saying if I have packets in a box of sugar I’m okay but if I own a pound of sugar (coffee, rice whatever) I am committing a felony. Makes no sense.

      • Anonymous on May 11, 2015 at 4:05 pm
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      As a medical patient in WA state, until 7/`1/16 you can legally have 24 ounces with a valid affirmative defense….. The new bill changes that to significantly less

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