In Washington D.C., marijuana laws have evolved significantly since the approval of Initiative 71 in November 2014. As of February 26, 2015, the law permits adults aged 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use. However, public consumption remains illegal, as outlined in D.C. Code § 48–911.01.
The Safe Cannabis Sales Act of 2019, proposed by Mayor Muriel Bowser, aims to regulate the sale of recreational cannabis, with a focus on public health, safety, and equity. Medical cannabis is also subject to specific laws and regulations. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) provides further details on marijuana-related laws in the district.
Federal agencies, like the Department of Transportation (DOT), assert that regardless of state laws, the use of marijuana remains illegal for safety-sensitive positions governed by DOT regulations. The DOT’s official stance on the matter upholds a zero-tolerance policy.
The health implications of marijuana use are also a concern, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighting potential negative consequences, especially for underage individuals. Enforcement actions, such as the DEA’s Operation Bottleneck, target illegal diversions of controlled substances, including opioids, but also indirectly affect the cannabis industry.
The Department of Justice also plays a role in the enforcement of federal marijuana laws, as seen in their recent memo on the subject, which reinforces the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) provisions.
Contact information for the Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance, including phone numbers and a TTY line, is available for those seeking clarification on federal regulations related to drug use.