5 things you need to know about DC's new marijuana laws

Washington City Paper writer Will Sommer joined FOX 5 to talk about what you need to know about the city's new pot law, which takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

Starting on Thursday, Feb. 26, Initiative 71 will become law and marijuana in Washington D.C. will become legal.

So what does this mean for you? Here are five things you need to know about D.C.'s new marijuana laws.

1) You must be at least 21 years old or older

Those over 21 years old can possess up to two ounces of marijuana. If you have more than that, it is a criminal penalty and could lead to arrest.

Anyone under 21 is prohibited from possessing any pot. Police will seize any found on any minor, and if that person has more than two ounces, he or she can be arrested as well.

2) You can only smoke or consume on private property

You can use it inside your home or anywhere out on your porch or yard that is on your private property. But if you smoke it anywhere in public-- whether it's in your car, in public housing, a restaurant, a bar, a cigar or hookah bar, a public park or public street-- you are asking for trouble.

Police say anyone arrested for consuming marijuana in public faces up to 60 days in jail or a $500 fine.

And don't smoke or even have it on federal property. Under federal law, any federal law enforcement officer may arrest anyone for possession of ANY amount of marijuana.

3) You CAN grow it in your home

The law will allow you to grow up to six marijuana plants in your home, with no more than three being mature. If you live in a home with multiple adults over 21, you can have up to 12 plants in the home, but no more than six of them can be mature.

4) You can't sell it

Police will arrest you for selling marijuana and if you are convicted, you could be facing six months in jail or a $1,000 fine for the first offense.

But you are allowed to give one ounce or less to another person as long as you are at least 21 years old and it is not being sold or exchanged for other goods or services.

5) Driving while high is not allowed

If you operate a vehicle or boat under the influence of marijuana, you could be arrested based on D.C.'s impaired driving laws.

Even if the vehicle is stopped and you are still on public property, you are still subject to arrest.

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