The United States of America is such a huge country. It houses 50 different states possessing multi-varied cultures, people, climate, and even laws and policies.
Though the country has one governing leader, each state manifests restricted lawmaking procedures separate from the federal government. Thus, there’s a good possibility that one rule would latterly be okay to one state yet sanctioned for imprisonment to another one.
As cannabis is truly a controversial herb, it should be important to understand that not all states in America completely allow the utilization and cultivation of cannabis plants. That is why, as a cannabis connoisseur who plans to visit or migrate in the country should be able to comply with these policies to avoid any transgression.
In this article, we’ll discuss specifically the policies on cannabis use and planting in the state of Washington. For further details, scan below to find out for more.
Where is Washington?
Named after the first president of the United States of America, Sir George Washington, this state is located in the northwest region of the country. Its bordered north with Canada and just nearby the states of Idaho (east) and Oregon (south). Amongst the 50 current states, the region is 18th from the largest with an area of 71,362 square miles. It’s the 13th most populous state holding to more than 8 million people.
The state is prominently west facing the Pacific region with beautiful mountain topography. Moreover, it’s a diverse region with temperate forests, semi-arid basin, fjords connected to glaciers and snowy hills.
Its rich lands are mostly grown with agricultural goods including trees for lumber use. Also, it caters landscapes for apple, pear, apricot, grapes, and peppermint plantations. It has multiple fishing ports and areas with salmon, halibut, and bottom fish being primarily sold.
The state is the leading manufacturer of ships, missiles, and aircraft equipment. Its amazingly contain over 1,000 dams that are used to supply electricity and water to its constituents. Apart from that, various industries are being built in the state including chemicals, machinery, and food processing.
It’s considered to be one of the wealthiest states in the country. Median household income valued at approximately $61,000 with low unemployment rates as recorded for the past ten years.
To visit the state, its best to access the major cities of the state for easy travel. Consequently, the center capital of the country named Washington D.C. where the president’s office is located in this state. It also includes the state’s capital, Olympia and its largest city, Seattle.
History of Cannabis in Washington
Ever since the herb’s entry in the USA, it had never been illegal. In fact, cannabis was utilized as a food supplement and a medicinal drug by people. It was even believed that George Washington had smoked cannabis with its own cultivation on several lands he possessed.
It was all good then until reports of abuse and violations were reported in the early 1900s. Mexican immigrants were accused of raping women and committing crimes while smoking marijuana. Historians often quote that the action was exaggerating and it was meant to drive away Mexicans to America.
Though these criminals had been already convicted, the growing cannabis industry had shaken with the arising rallies and frets about banning cannabis permanently within the country.
Unfortunately, it was granted and law throughout the country was passed to prohibited cultivation and use of cannabis in many forms. A succeeding move was done by Washington’s federal government to intensify its illegalization.
Despite the government’s strict mandate towards the use of cannabis, a lot of people still had been using it in the late 1900s. That is why the state’s government had decided to keep the laws less strict for everyone.
The popularity of medical marijuana in the late 1950s had been a major consideration to several lawmakers in Washington. Nevertheless, they’ve reopened the jurisdiction for cannabis laws and conduct an investigation to reconsider medical marijuana.
By 1997, through a general ballot, cannabis was allowed to be prescribed by physicians. It was later called ‘medical cannabis’ and had used to alleviate symptoms of diseases including multiple sclerosis, cancer, AIDS, and epilepsy.
In April 2011, cannabis dispensaries were started to be constructed along the Seattle and Olympus area. However, it was then closed and ceased for violations of selling marijuana.
This action had led to reforms and strong opposition through several sectors of society. To address this growing public support, the government had taken an initiative in 2011 to pass two cannabis-related bills to prevent upheaval of clamors.
However, the conditions of the bill were unaccepted by cannabis activists within the state and demands instead for full legalization of recreational marijuana.
Through supporting legal measures, an initiative was passed in 2012 to keep recreational cannabis legal. Successfully, it was approved by a close majority vote and possession of marijuana at limited amounts has become legalized. However, the cultivation of cannabis was still prohibited.
By November 2013, the government had accepted licensing to marijuana-related business from growing, selling, retail, and distribution. Later on, the first recreational cannabis store was opened on July 2014.
Basic Cannabis Laws in Washington
The laws of cannabis in the state of Washington is seemingly a bit similar to alcohol and tobacco. As both are under the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board, it’s expected that underlying policies are just familiar to both.
Exclusively, here are the following rules and regulations that are often incorporated upon cannabis use in this state.
The minimum age requirement for purchase or use of cannabis is 21 years old. Nevertheless, one should present a government-issued ID to verify its identity and age before buying any cannabis product.
It’s not allowed to smoke cannabis while driving or traveling on any other place.
Designated places are mandated to smoke only cannabis. It’s important to know that it’s prohibited to use cannabis in public places. This includes parks, schools, and hospitals.
Limited amount of cannabis purchase is at one ounce of dried flowers, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused edibles, 72 ounces in liquid form, and 7 grams of concentrates.
Policies on Cannabis Cultivation in Washington
It’s essential to realize that cannabis cultivation is still banned in Washington. Thus, the only source of recreational cannabis is through buying in recreational marijuana dispensaries or any cannabis stores.
It’s entirely illegal to grow cannabis anywhere including into your homes or private spaces. Once one will get caught planting cannabis, he or she will be penalized accordingly to what the law dictates.
However, if you really want to grow recreational cannabis, then you’ll have to register it as a cannabis business. This means that you’ll have to secure licensing permits to the government in order to grow cannabis without any constraints.
Another option is to register for medical marijuana. You have to secure a medical prescription from a doctor that you’re seeking treatment through cannabis. You’ll be allowed a specific number of cannabis plants to grow into your homes depending on how the physician will say.
According to medical marijuana law, medical cannabis patients could grow only at most 15 plants in their house and possess up to 24 ounces of medical marijuana as needed.
The Final Word
In summary, the state of Washington allows one to use recreational cannabis. Thus, you’re free to smoke and buy any forms of cannabis through respective cannabis retailing stores or dispensaries.
However, it’s strictly prohibited to grow recreational cannabis for personal use or consumption. If ever you’ll be taking risks, then just make sure to do it discreetly that authorities or any nosy neighbors won’t try to report you. Though, its best to not jump on the fences and let’s obey the state’s guidelines. Other alternative options such as applying for medical marijuana or seeking for a cannabis business is more convenient rather than taking steps to violate the law.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that you can’t buy cannabis seeds. It’s still permitted, however, you’ll just have to make sure that it will only be used as a collector’s item or souvenir and not for cultivation.