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Is Weed Legal In Washington DC ? [Guide On DC Marijuana Laws]

Updated: Feb 5

dc marijuana laws

Marijuana laws in the District of Columbia are evolving rapidly. And it is possible that marijuana will be fully legalized for recreational use on a federal level within the next few years.

If you live in Washington DC and love weed, it's important to keep up with this topic so you know how the recent changes might affect you in the coming years. This article will discuss the various DC Marijuana laws and will talk about if weed is still legal in DC.

Understanding DC Weed Laws

understanding dc weed laws

The District of Columbia has decriminalized marijuana possession, but this means that there are still limitations to weed laws in DC. Decriminalization does not mean that marijuana is legal for recreational use.

Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level and throughout all states except in regions like Colorado, Washington DC, Oregon, etc. Understanding how the weed laws work will keep you out of major trouble with federal law enforcement officers and also earn you some free weed gifts.

What Is Initiative 71?

Initiative 71 is a ballot initiative that was passed in Washington DC in 2014. This measure allows people to possess minimal amounts of marijuana; up to two ounces of cannabis and grow six marijuana plants within their homes. It also permits gifting of small quantities of weed, but sales of recreational marijuana are still prohibited.

Since Initiative 71 was passed, there have been numerous changes to DC weed laws. In February of 2015, the DC Council voted to approve a bill that would allow for the taxation and regulation of marijuana sales in the district. This bill did not pass, but it shows that lawmakers are beginning to consider how they might want to move forward with cannabis legalization.

The use of medical cannabis is also allowed. In 1998, after Initiative 59 passed, it was officially legalized, although a series of legal challenges delayed the establishment of a functional medical marijuana program until 2013. Patients can now possess up to four ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants (under the 2014 legislation).

Below we have listed some of the laws under initiative 71:

  • You have to be 21 years of age or older to have weed in DC.

  • You may be charged with a DUI if you drive while high. This is considered a criminal offense.

  • It is against the law to smoke cannabis on federal land, and you may face severe penalties if you are caught doing so. It's also illegal to smoke in public places. You can only consume marijuana on private property.

  • In Washington DC, marijuana may only be given as a gift and not sold.

  • Adults 21 years and older can possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to three mature plants at home.

  • You may transfer up to one ounce of marijuana to another person. Anything more than two ounces will cause you problems with federal law enforcement officers.

Can You Buy Weed In DC?

You technically cannot buy recreational cannabis in DC, but you can gift it. As stated earlier, initiative 71 allows residents to gift small quantities of weed to each other. Various establishments have used this as some form of bypass to the original law, which states that weed can't be sold for money. So how does gifting work?

How does Marijuana Gifting Work?

Marijuana gifting works by exchanging goods or services for cannabis. This could be anything from a meal to a yoga class, to a piece of art. The important thing is that no money changes hands in order for the weed to be transferred. So if you're looking to buy some weed in DC, your best bet might be finding someone willing to gift it to you, visiting medical dispensaries or you could just visit an initiative 71 compliant shop.

How To Find An Initiative 71 Shop In DC

Get free Cannabis Gifts

An Initiative 71 shop is one that gifts weed and is compliant with DC laws. When you go to a shop that claims to adhere to Initiative 71 standards, there are a few things to look for. We'll discuss several of these factors below:

Premium Weed Products

Initiative 71-compliant stores must follow strict quality standards for cannabis goods. As a result, you can anticipate finding high-quality strains on the shelves. Staff will also be able to provide you with information about the product, such as how potent it is and what effects it might have.


Reviews let you know what to anticipate from an I71-Compliant Business, especially if they're all positive. Many good reviews suggest that a business has a solid reputation, which means you may trust them.

Verified Google reviews also show that the business values its consumers and takes customer feedback seriously. This is an excellent predictor of quality for a weed shop.

Knowledgeable Staff

The staff at a good head shop should be knowledgeable about their products and the dispensary process in general. They should be able to answer any questions that you may have about what they offer.


The store should be transparent about what is and isn't allowed under Initiative 71. They should also be up-front about how they conduct business. For example, a compliant shop will never sell marijuana for money.

A Clean Environment

Initiative 71 shops must maintain a clean and professional environment at all times. This means that you shouldn't see any cannabis products being sold out of the back of a car or in an alleyway. The store should also have proper signage that indicates it's an I71-compliant business.


In conclusion, the District of Columbia has embraced a progressive approach to marijuana laws, exemplifying a commitment to individual freedoms and a nuanced understanding of cannabis regulation. With the provision allowing adults aged 21 and older to possess small amounts of marijuana without legal consequences, and the opportunity to cultivate up to two ounces for personal use, the city has positioned itself at the forefront of evolving cannabis legislation. The establishment of robust medical marijuana laws further underscores the commitment to providing accessible and regulated cannabis options. This balanced approach reflects a contemporary understanding of the changing dynamics surrounding cannabis use, fostering a legal environment that strives to meet the needs of its residents while ensuring responsible consumption within a well-defined legal framework.

It's important to stay up-to-date on the latest changes, so you know what is and isn't legal when it comes to cannabis in Washington DC! You can stay on the loop by visiting our blog regularly.

Get Premium Quality Marijuana In DC

You can get premium-quality marijuana from Top Level DC. We are DC's number 1 initiative 71 shop. We offer free weed gifts to both DC residents & tourists! Our shop is highly rated on Google reviews, and our customers love us! Here are some reviews;

A F from Google reviews says:

"I can't say enough great things about this place - the staff is always helpful and knowledgeable (Venus, in particular!). They do an amazing job working with local artists to display their work and host really great events, usually around sketching or painting. Pricing for the prints are reasonable and although there are 3 "levels" of gifts ranging in price, they're all top quality."

Marissa Spencer from Google reviews says:

"A great place to visit, especially if you're from an illegal state. Ryan and Silvia really helped our shopping experience and didn't get annoyed with all our questions!! Everyone's very kind and genuine here with a variety of quality products."

How to Get Free Cannabis Gifts from Top Level DC

You can get free cannabis gifts by following these four basic steps:

1. Pick FREE Gift

Select your choice of free cannabis gift from edibles, concentrates, flowers, and more.

2. Order an Exclusive Art Piece

Purchase an art piece created by a local Washington DC artist and help support your local creative community.

3. Enjoy

Relax and have a great rest of your day!

You can choose to skip the line and preorder online now. Get free in-store pick up that will be ready within 20 mins of ordering (during store hours). Pay when you pick up in store and present a 21+ state issued ID. You can also shop in-store and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Note: We accept cash and now also credit/debit card payments for purchases over $50.

Shop online or call us today at (202) 740-6670 to place your order. Check out the Top Level online menu. Enjoy in-store shopping or get easy curbside pickup! For Top Level DC hours, please check our website. Also, follow us on Instagram to learn more about buying art prints for free weed gifts in Washington DC with our 420-friendly and Initiative 71-compliant gifts.

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