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Can I still be arrested with a marijuana charge in Washington?

Even though recreational marijuana has been legal in Washington for six years, there are still plenty of instances where its use is illegal. The passage of Initiative 502 didn’t create a free-for-fall.

If you are interested in using recreational marijuana and want to do so legally, here are six restrictions to know:

1. Age limits the same as alcohol

As is the case with alcohol consumption, purchasing and using recreational marijuana is only legal for those who are 21 and older. Just as you can be arrested for possessing or being under the influence of alcohol if you are under 21, you can be arrested for possessing marijuana or being high.

2. Quantity is also limited

Those who can legally purchase marijuana can only buy certain amounts at a time. They are:

  • One ounce of usable marijuana – also known as “buds”
  • 16 ounces of marijuana-infused edibles
  • 72 ounces of liquid marijuana
  • Seven grams of marijuana concentrates

3. Selling regulations

Marijuana is only legal for sale at state-licensed retail stores, not by anyone else. If the police suspect you have the intent to sell marijuana outside of state regulations, that could be considered a crime. At state-licensed stores, no one under 21 is allowed on the premises and a valid photo ID is required.

4. Not in public

You cannot consume marijuana in view of the public, much like you cannot consume alcohol in a public place.

5. Driving under the influence

It is illegal for drivers to be under the influence of marijuana behind the wheel. There cannot be more than 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood; if police test you and your THC level is higher, you could be arrested.

6. Stay within state lines

Marijuana use is still considered a federal crime, even if it’s not a state crime. You cannot travel across state with marijuana, even if you bought it legally in Washington. That means if you’re going to drive to Coeur d’Alene for a lake day, leave the marijuana at home or be subject to Idaho’s drug penalties, which could lead to a felony charge.

If you plan to use marijuana per Washington state law, make sure you follow the restrictions and don’t end up in criminal trouble. As is the case with alcohol consumption, knowing the right guidelines to follow can lead to an enjoyable time using a legal substance.

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