July 4th is a celebration of freedom. But on this Independence Day, for the first time in more than a century, our freedoms in Washington D.C. include the ability to legally buy, possess, and use medical cannabis. Washington D.C. has a legal medical marijuana market and a legal recreational but Below is a list of Fourth of July Cannabis Do’s and Don’ts.
These privileges took effect in February 2016, after voters approved a ballot question on recreational pot use. And that measure remains the law of the land, despite state legislators’ ongoing debate over a rewrite of the rules.
But it’s worth remembering that this freedom is heavily qualified for all. So, after consulting with law enforcement experts and studying guidance issued by state officials, here are some medical weed do’s and don’ts.
WALKING DOWN THE STREET WITH A POCKET FULL OF WEED
Under the new recreational marijuana law, Washington DC residents 21 and older can keep up to 2 ounces of pot in their primary homes for personal use. Everywhere else, as the possession limit is 1 ounce of marijuana flower.Bottom of Form So if you’re bringing pot to the pot-luck, make sure it doesn’t weigh more than an ounce (a little more than 28 grams) is the right thought.
One crucial exception: The law says you cannot possess any quantity of marijuana on federal property. This is important if you plan to attend a federal fireworks display, as many towns hold these events at local schools or athletic fields.
FIREWORKS CAN LIGHT UP IN PUBLIC; BUT YOU CAN’T
While the law allows adults to possess quite a bit of cannabis in public, it doesn’t allow you to smoke it in public — or in areas where smoking tobacco is banned, such as restaurants and offices. Light up in public and you could get dinged with a fine, plus possible additional penalties in towns that have bylaws or ordinances prohibiting public pot use.
BUYING, SELLING, GIFTING
We’re in an odd gray zone right now: It’s legal for adults to buy marijuana, but recreational dispensaries won’t sell it because the District hasn’t allowed them. So only medical marijuana card holders can purchase legal cannabis. So you can gift it to another person for free but I would avoid selling as it could pose some serious legal trouble.
CARS AND MARIJUANA
This doesn’t require much explanation at all: It’s completely illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana and medical marijuana. True, there’s no easy breathalyzer-like test police officers can use to measure impairment from cannabis, but the cops will still take you off the road if they believe you’re stoned.
SMOKE ON THE WATER?
For many, it’s a July Fourth tradition to hop in a boat and putter around the Potomac River for a prime view of DC’s fireworks. But beware: It’s still illegal to pilot a watercraft of any size under the influence of any form of weed. The Coast Guard enforces federal laws within all navigable US waters, not to mention local authorities.
I think if you can stay within the do’s and don’t’s of the law, you can have a great holiday. Happy Fourth of July!