Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014


On November 4, 2014, Washington, D.C. voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 71. On February 26, 2015, the measure took effect; meaning the following acts are now legal under D.C. law:

  • Possession, purchase, and transportation of up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use by adults 21 and older.
  • Personal cultivation of up to six marijuana plants, with no more than three being mature, by adults 21 and older in their personal residences. Adults may possess all of the cannabis grown by those plants at the same location. (No more than a total of 12 plants — six being mature — may be grown in a single house or rental unit.)
  • Transfer of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults 21 or older to another adult 21 or older. All transfers are to be free from remuneration; sales are still prohibited.
  • Use or sales of paraphernalia for marijuana use, cultivation, or processing.

District agencies are no longer allowed to deny a person a benefit, program, or service based on conduct allowed by I-71. District agencies and other employers are not required to allow the use or possession of marijuana in a workplace. In addition, employers may continue to enforce policies restricting marijuana use by their employees, and property owners may prohibit or regulate marijuana-related activities on their properties.

Passage of I-71 does not legalize marijuana sales. However, the D.C. Council is considering legislation that would allow the city to register, regulate, and tax businesses to cultivate marijuana for retail sales and to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older. Please email your councilmembers and ask them to support this legislation, and make sure you are signed up for D.C.-specific action alerts to stay up-to-speed on its progress.

Finally, it is important to note that I-71 modifies D.C. law only. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, so it is particularly risky to possess it on federal land.