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District of Columbia Laws & Penalties

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine  

Possession

Less than 1 oz civil violation none $ 25
1 oz or more misdemeanor 6 mos $ 1,000

Sale, Distribution, Intent to Distribute, and Cultivation

Transfer of less than 1 oz civil violation none $ 25
Less than 1/2 lb (first offense) not classified 6 mos $ 1,000
Any amount not classified 5 years $ 50,000
Involving a minor by a person over 21 brings additional penalty and/or fine.
Within 1000 feet of an appropriately identified public or private day care center, elementary school, vocational school, secondary school, junior college, college, or university, or any public swimming pool, playground, video arcade, youth center, or public library, or in and around public housing may bring a doubled penalty.

Hash & Concentrates

Possession N/A 180 days $ 1,000
Manufacture N/A 5 years $ 50,000

Paraphernalia

Possessing paraphernalia violation 30 days $ 100
Selling paraphernalia not classified 2 years $ 5,000

Forfeiture

All substances, raw materials, products, equipment, property, vehicles, research products, paraphernalia, money and other assets can be seized.

Penalty Details

Possession

Possession or transfer of up to one ounce of marijuana is a civil violation (punishable by a $25 fine, no arrest, no jail time, and no criminal record). 

Unless marijuana was obtained through a doctor's recommendation, intentional or knowing possession of one ounce or more of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a penalty of incarceration of up to 180 days and a fine of not more than $1,000.

For a first offense: the court may, without entering a judgment of guilty and with the consent of such person, defer further proceedings and place him or her on probation upon such reasonable conditions as it may require and for such period, not to exceed one year, as the court may prescribe. This action does not qualify as a conviction.

See:

  • D.C. Code § 48-904.01

Sale, Distribution, Intent to Distribute, and Cultivation

An offender who been convicted of distribution, manufacture, or possession with intent to distribute may be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined not more than $50,000, or both. For a first conviction, and offender with no prior convictions for distribution, manufacture, or possession with intent to distribute, and who was caught with ½ lbs. or less of marijuana, may be imprisoned for not more than 180 days or fined not more than $1000 or both.

For a first offense: the court may, without entering a judgment of guilty and with the consent of such person, defer further proceedings and place him or her on probation upon such reasonable conditions as it may require and for such period, not to exceed one year, as the court may prescribe.

See:

  • D.C. Code § 48-904.01

Distribution to a minor by a person over 21 brings a doubled penalty.

See:

  • § 48-904.06 (b)

The enlistment of a minor to distribute a controlled substance by one who is over 21 can be punished with up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. For a second offense, an offender can be imprisoned for no longer than 20 years and fined not more than $20,000.

See:

  • D.C. Code §48-904.07 (b)

Distributing or possessing with the intent to distribute within 1000 feet of an appropriately identified public or private day care center, elementary school, vocational school, secondary school, junior college, college, or university, or any public swimming pool, playground, video arcade, youth center, or public library, or in and around public housing may bring a doubled penalty.

See:

  • D.C. Code §48-904.07a

A second conviction makes the offender eligible to receive double the penalty originally stated in law.

See:

  • D.C. Code §48-904.08(a)

Hash & Concentrates

Hashish is a Schedule II drug in Washington D.C.

See:

  • D.C. Code § 48-902.06(F)

Possession of hashish is punishable upon conviction with imprisonment for not more than 180 days and a fine of not more than $1,000.

See:

  • D.C. Code § 48-904.01(d)(1)

Manufacturing or selling hashish is punishable, upon conviction, with imprisonment for not more than 5 years and a fine of not more than $50,000.

See:

  • D.C. Code § 48-904.01(a)

Conditional Release for 1st time offenders is available, and record expungement occurs, by request, after successful completion of the program.

See:

  • D.C. Code § 48-904.01(e)(1)

Hash pipes, sifters, and bubble bags are paraphernalia in Washington D.C., and conviction for possession of such will lead to imprisonment for not more than 30 days and a fine for not more than $100.

See:

  • D.C. Code § 48-1101(3)
  • D.C. Code § 48-1103(a)

Paraphernalia

Possessing paraphernalia is punishable up to 30 days or fined for not more than $100.

See:

  • D.C. Code §48-1103(a)

Selling paraphernalia is punishable with up to 2 years and a fine of not more than $5,000.

See:

  • D.C. Code §48-1103(b)

Any person 18 years of age or over who violates subsection (b) of this section by delivering drug paraphernalia to a person under 18 years of age who is at least 3 years his or her junior is guilty of a special offense and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 8 years, fined not more than $15,000, or both.

See:

  • D.C. Code §48-1103(c)

Forfeiture

The following are subject to forfeiture:

  1. All controlled substances which have been manufactured, distributed, dispensed, or acquired in violation of this chapter;
  2. All raw materials, products, and equipment of any kind which are used, or intended for use, in manufacturing, compounding, processing, or delivering any controlled substance in violation of this chapter;
  3. All property which is used, or intended for use, as a container for said controlled substances;
  4. All conveyances, including aircraft, vehicles or vessels, which are used, or intended for use, to transport, or in any manner to facilitate the transportation, for the purpose of sale or receipt of said controlled substances;
  5. All books, records, and research products and materials, including formulas, microfilm, tapes, and data, which are used, or intended for use, in violation of drug laws;
  6. All cash or currency which has been used, or intended for use, in violation of drug laws;
  7. Everything of value furnished or intended to be furnished in exchange for a controlled substance ; and
  8. Any real property that is used or intended to be used in any manner to commit or facilitate the commission of a violation of drug laws.

See:

  • D.C. Code §48-905.02
Conditional Release

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual's criminal record does not reflect the charge.

Decriminalization

The state has decriminalized marijuana to some degree. Typically, decriminalization means no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption. The conduct is treated like a minor traffic violation.

Medical Marijuana

This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective. For more information see NORML's Medical Marijuana section.







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