Possession of More than 40 Grams of Marijuana:
While possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is legal for adults in Washington, not all possession of marijuana is legal. Possession of more than one ounce but less than 40 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Possession of more than 40 grams of marijuana in Washington State is a class C felony and may be punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Additionally, if you possess significantly more than 40 grams of marijuana, the state could argue that you possessed the marijuana with intent to deliver (sell) it and charge you with a more serious crime.
Cultivation, Delivery or Sale of Marijuana:
Cultivation (growing), delivery and sale of marijuana are all class C felonies in Washington State and are punishable by up to 5 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine unless allowed by law.
It is very important to be aware that the cultivation, delivery or sale of any amount of marijuana, no matter how small, may be charged as a C felony and therefore will carry a much more severe penalty than a simple possession of 40 grams or less, again, unless allowed by law.
Washington State's Medical Marijuana Act, found at RCW 69.51A, gives qualifying individuals a defense to Washington VUCSA crimes relating to the possession, cultivation and administration of medical marijuana.
Further, it is important to understand that the only people covered under this act are "qualifying patients and their providers." In order to become a qualifying patient, one must meet the medical conditions listed in the Act and follow the specific protocols the Act requires.
Qualifying patients must always carry valid documentation whenever they plan on carrying or using medical marijuana and must be prepared to provide these documents to a police officer if they are questioned about their use of medical marijuana. This documentation consists of the following:
- Proper authorization from their physician; and
- A valid proof of identification (such as a US passport or a Washington State Driver's License)