Medical (Comprehensive) and Recreational (Comprehensive)

Important Dates

1971: The state reduced the possession of 40 grams or less to a misdemeanor.
1998: Medical marijuana became legal when Washington Initiative 692 passed.
2012: Recreational marijuana became legal when Washington Initiative 502 passed.


The history of marijuana in Washington dates back to 1923 when cannabis was criminalized, making its possession or sale punishable by one to ten years in prison. In 1971, the state reduced the possession of 40 grams or less of marijuana to a misdemeanor offense. Voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 1998 when Washington Initiative 692 passed by 59%. In November 2012, Washington Initiative 502 passed by 56%, legalizing the possession and use of recreational marijuana with certain limitations starting in December 2012. This initiative drew a voter turnout of 81%, the highest in the nation.


Can I possess, buy or grow marijuana in Washington?

Adults 21 and older can purchase up to one ounce of usable marijuana, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused edibles in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form and 7 grams of marijuana concentrate. This is also the limit one can legally possess at one time. Currently, only licensed grow facilities are able to grow and cultivate marijuana.

Medical marijuana patients with a valid prescription can possess up to 24 ounces of marijuana and grow up to 15 plants if authorized by a practitioner.

Can I operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana in Washington?

It is illegal to drive if you have more than 5 nano grams of active THC per milliliter of blood.

How do I get a medical marijuana card in Washington?

In order to become a medical marijuana patient in Washington, you must request Medical Marijuana Authorization from an authorized healthcare professional. Next, you must obtain a medical marijuana card from a medically endorsed marijuana retail store. This card allows you to purchase and grow marijuana.

Can I use marijuana in public in Washington?

No, it is illegal to consume marijuana in public. All cannabis consumption must be done on private property.

Can I sell marijuana in Washington?

Currently, only licensed retail shops can sell marijuana in Washington.


The information presented here should not be construed as legal advice. State and Federal laws are always subject to change. We aim to keep this page as updated as possible; however, for additional information regarding Washington marijuana laws, please see the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis BoardFind Law and the National Conference of State Legislatures.