An Overview of Washington State Drug Laws

Although recreational marijuana use is legal in Washington, the state tends to be tough on other drug offenses. You should be aware of what the possible penalties are for drug offenses and what is illegal.


Multiple drug offenses can cause your sentence lengths to double. Selling to a minor could come with a sentence of up to life in prison. If you are a first-time offender, Washington could sentence you up to 10 years in prison. Drug offenses may be either misdemeanors or felonies, but most are felonies in Washington.


Fines for drug sentences can be up to $500,000 per count, but in most situations, they won’t be that high. Multiple convictions could also cause your fines to double, making them more expensive than someone who is a first-time offender. Illicit drug manufacturers and dealers tend to receive higher penalties.

Help for Those Who Have an Addiction

A person who has an addiction is likely to get a lower sentence. You might have the option of going through drug court to reduce the severity of your sentence or to avoid jail time. Drug court involves allowing you to receive treatment for your addiction instead of jail time.

Designer Drugs Are Illegal

Drugs that have a slightly different chemical structure to evade the law are illegal. You may hear them dubbed designer drugs or isomers.

Assisting in Drug Spread Is Illegal

You could face charges if you plant, cultivate, store or conceal illegal drugs. Advertising illegal substances is also illegal. A judge may sentence you to up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine for these actions. If you delivered drug paraphernalia to a minor who is at least three years younger than you, then you could face up to 364 days in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

The penalties for drug possession, distribution, and use have the potential to be high in Washington, depending on the situation. Using or handling illicit substances and their isomers can lead to jail time and fines if you are convicted.

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