Can I still be arrested for marijuana in D.C.?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

With the constantly changing marijuana laws across the country, you can be forgiven for not knowing what is legal anymore. And, for those who live in Alexandria, but work and play in D.C., you may wonder whether you can still be arrested for marijuana in D.C.?

The law in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., is one of the few places in the United States where recreational marijuana use is legal for adults 21 and older. However, this does not mean that anyone can possess, grow or share any amount of marijuana without any consequences. There are still some restrictions and penalties for violating the marijuana laws in the nation’s capital.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, it is legal for a person who is at least 21 years old to possess two ounces or fewer of marijuana. As long as you do receive compensation (payments, goods, services, etc.), you can give someone up to one ounce legally. You can also cultivate within your residence up to six marijuana plants, but no more than three of which are mature. Also, you may use marijuana on private property.


However, it is still illegal for anyone to sell any amount of marijuana to anyone, and you cannot possess more than two ounces. In addition, if you smoke it, you cannot drive your vehicle or boat. It is also illegal to use marijuana in any public place, such as streets, parks, sidewalks, cafes, bars, etc. You also cannot consume marijuana on federal property, such as the National Mall, monuments, museums, etc.


Violating these laws can result in various charges and penalties, depending on the severity of the offense. For example, smoking or consuming marijuana in public is a civil violation punishable by a fine of $25. However, possessing more than two ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Selling any amount of marijuana or possessing marijuana with intent to distribute is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300 for the first offense. Jail time increases up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 for subsequent offenses.