How To Legally Obtain and Enjoy Weed In DC

girl smoking weed in DC

Ignorance of the law excuses no one. And just knowing that weed is legally obtainable in Washington D.C., or the District of Columbia, without knowing the legal nuances, may land you in jail.  

Unlike other states, obtaining and enjoying weed in DC may not be as clear cut. While medical marijuana is allowed, recreational weed use is still regulated. You’re not allowed to enjoy recreational weed in government-owned properties, for instance.    

To avoid jail time, it’s in your best interest to discover the salient points in DC’s local legislation, otherwise known as Initiative 71. Heeding these can help you get the high you need without the worries. 

What Does The Law Say?

In 2012 Washington and Colorado became the first two jurisdictions to legalize cannabis use in adults. Other states followed suit, although the focus was on medical cannabis use. 

As of April 2021, though, 18 states, including Washington DC, have agreed to legalize recreational marijuana. But before going to the best marijuana dispensary near you, consider the following points if you’re in the District:  

  • Only adults over 21 years are allowed to possess up to two ounces of marijuana.
  • Adults are allowed to grow weed in their primary residence of up to six plants—three of which are flowering and three vegetative types. 
  • An adult can give up to one ounce to another adult, as long as no money, goods or services, are involved in the exchange. 
  • Cannabis consumption is allowed only inside a private property. 
  • Never use weed in federal properties such as parks, public housing, and structures of similar nature. 
  • Smoking inside a privately-owned vehicle is unlawful.        

That being said, while both medical and recreational weed are decriminalized in Washington DC, breaches to the law on marijuana use and possession could still land you in jail. 

How ‘Gifting’ Weed Works     

Like most jurisdictions, the law doesn’t allow the sale of marijuana unless you have a medical marijuana card. If you have debilitating health conditions that warrant its use, you can procure it easily, with the appropriate prescription, of course. 

Along with the approval of Initiative 71, an adult DC resident can obtain up to two ounces of marijuana and give another adult up to one ounce, provided that no money is involved—as this constitutes selling, which is prohibited.

If the procurement doesn’t fall under any of these categories, it’s important to learn how to buy weed in DC by understanding how ‘gifting’ works. The law (Initiative 71) took effect in February 2015—and one of the key points is that its lawful for a resident to ‘give’ weed for free.  

How To Legally Obtain Weed In DC

There are two ways you can get weed in DC without violating the law. It works by purchasing specific merchandise of the same value as the weed, and receiving cannabis as a free ‘gift.’  

You can either visit any authorized dispensary to purchase an item, or contact delivery services to get hold of your ‘gift.’ 

Visiting Legal Dispensaries

The first step is to find a legitimate weed dispensary in the area. Have your identification card ready to prove you’re over 21 years old. Once inside, ask if you can see the ‘Initiative 71 gift menu.’ 

If you spot the weed of your preference, ask which item you need to purchase—an artwork, stickers, t-shirts, or any merchandise—to receive the marijuana of your choice, for free. Some dispensaries sell marijuana accessories with a free ‘gift.’  

Through Online Weed Delivery Services

If you’re too busy to visit the store, look up authorized dispensaries in DC. Navigate their website and check each I71 gift menu item. Check the item that’s sold along with the variety of your choice, and finalize the transaction. Wait for further instructions on your email. 

Other dispensaries will send you an SMS or call you as to when you must show up to the store, or when to expect your item to be delivered. You’d then need to show your ID to prove you’re over 21.           

Where Can You Enjoy Weed in DC?

You can enjoy weed in DC in your own home. In DC, about 22% of the land area is federal property. Consumption within these properties are illegal. Depending on where you’re caught taking it, public consumption of marijuana can cost you $25 in fines or a misdemeanor conviction, up to $500 in penalties, and up to a two-month jail sentence. Otherwise, you can use a vape pen discretely, but not in public spaces like parks or museums, and the like.  

Final Thoughts on How to Enjoy Weed in DC

Knowing how to score weed legally in Washington DC, requires specific knowledge on some legal technicalities, as mentioned in this article. Without knowing this, you may be facing a felony charge for attempting to access a controlled product illegally.

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