State Marijuana Laws

2011 legislation - SB 5073

(Our take on the 2011 legislation can be found here:

SB 5073 passed the 2011 session with a partial veto by Governor Gregoire. Text of the legislation can be read here (the italicized and crossed out language did not get signed into law).


Many local jurisdictions have passed moratoriums. You can view the list here:

State laws

State Marijuana Laws

This is state law. Federal law still applies within the State of Washington and differs greatly from local law.

Offense Offense Type Max. Jail Max. Fine RCW

Possession, 40 grams or less Misdemeanor 90 Days $1,000 RCW 69.50.4014

Possession, over 40 grams Class C Felony 5 Years $10,000 RCW 69.50.4013

Manufacture, delivery, possession with intent to deliver Class C Felony 5 Years $10,000 RCW 69.50.401

Involving a minor in a marijuana transaction Class C Felony 5 Years $10,000 RCW 69.50.4015

Distribution to a minor Class B Felony 10 Years $10,000 RCW 69.50.406

Drug paraphernalia use Misdemeanor 90 Days $1,000 RCW 69.50.412

Drug paraphernalia sale or delivery Civil Infraction n/a $250 RCW 69.50.4121

Mandatory Minimum: Any misdemeanor marijuana conviction carries a 24-hour mandatory minimum sentence and a mandatory minimum fine of $250. The minimum fine increases to $500 on second or subsequent offenses. See RCW 69.50.425.

Double whammy: The maximum fines and jail time for all marijuana offenses double on the second and subsequent offenses. That means a second two-ounce pot bust can net you ten years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine. See RCW 69.50.408.

Medical Marijuana: It is an affirmative defense to violations of marijuana-related laws that the person, possessing no more than is necessary for personal medical use for up to sixty days, has valid documentation and meets all criteria as a qualifying patient or as a designated provider to a qualifying patient. See RCW 69.51A.

Juveniles: For drug offense convictions of juveniles, the offender’s driver’s license is suspended for one year. RCW 46.20.265.

Sentencing Guidelines: The Washington State Sentencing Guidelines recommend sentences for various felonies. For manufacture, delivery, possession with intent to deliver, or possession of more than forty grams of marijuana, the sentence is 0-6 months for the first, second and third offense, and 6-24 months for subsequent offenses if no other offense has been committed.

Paraphernalia: In 1998, the legislature made paraphernalia sales a Class 1 civil infraction, allowing law enforcement to issue tickets to smoke shops without a burden of proof required by misdemeanor charges.