Washington’s medical-marijuana law
Possession: Marijuana possession is illegal in Washington. But the law provides an “affirmative defense” for qualified medical-marijuana patients and designated caregivers — meaning they still can be arrested and charged but can use their authorizations as defense in court.
Supply: Qualifying patients and designated providers can have a 60-day supply — defined as 24 ounces and 15 plants (any plant at any stage of growth counting as a plant). But a patient may exceed these limits with proven medical need.
Qualifying: To qualify for medical marijuana, the Department of Health says, patients must suffer from a “terminal or debilitating medical condition” such as cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, intractable pain, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis C, anorexia or others approved by the state Medical Quality Assurance Commission. Depression and anxiety don’t qualify.
Doctor: You need a written recommendation from a doctor for medical marijuana — not a prescription. Effective June 1, a new law will allow some other health-care professionals, including naturopaths, to write authorizations.
Provider: A designated provider can provide pot for only one patient at any one time.
Dispensaries: Marijuana dispensaries, where medical pot can be purchased, are not legal in Washington.
Federal law: Medical marijuana is illegal under federal law, but the Justice Department has said it won’t target users if they are in strict compliance with state law.
Source: State Department of Health