Washington Has Harsher Felony Cannabis Possession Laws than 32 Other States

Felony Cannabis PossessionWashington is one of four states where the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis is legal for those 21 and older, including its distribution through licensed retail outlets. With that in mind, you might be surprised to know that in regards to felony cannabis possession laws, Washington’s are harsher than 32 states, including conservative states such as Texas and Utah.

In Washington, possessing up to 28 grams is legal; possessing 28 to 40 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail. Once you reach over 40 grams, the charge becomes a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison; this is equal to unlawful imprisonment and rape of a child in the third degree (which is also a class C felony).

Below is a list of states that have softer cannabis possession felony laws than Washington:

 

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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.

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Louisiana Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Bill to Reduce Cannabis Penalties, Allow Expungement of Cannabis Convictions

prettybudsIn a unanimous vote, Louisiana’s Senate Judiciary Committee has given approval to legislation that would drastically reduce the penalties associated with an individuals second and third cannabis possession offense, while allowing those with just one offense to have the charge expunged from their record.

The proposal, sponsored by Senator J.P. Morrell (D-New Orleans), would save the state up to $16 million a year by reducing the penalty for a second cannabis possession offense to a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of 6 months; under current law an individuals second offense is a felony with a potential 5 year prison sentence. The measure would reduce the penalty for a third cannabis possession offense to a felony with a maximum sentence of 4 years, rather than a maximum of 20 as it currently stands.

Read moreLouisiana Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Bill to Reduce Cannabis Penalties, Allow Expungement of Cannabis Convictions