Cannabis for medical use in Washington became legal on November 3, 1998 under the auspices of Chapter 69.51a RCW: Medical marijuana. The law was updated on July 1, 2008 and again on November 2, 2008.
The law removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients. Documentation from the patient’s physician is no longer required for the allowed 60 days supply. The Final Rule states that documentation from the patient’s physician as to necessity of use will help the qualifying patient to overcome the presumptive limit.
Conditions Approved for Use of Medical Marijuana in Washington
- Crohn’s disease
- Diseases*, including Anorexia, which result in:
- Appetite Loss
- Muscle Spasms
- Hepatitis C with debilitating nausea or intractable
- HIV or AIDS
- Intractable pain (defined as pain unrelieved by standard treatment or medications)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Other conditions are subject to approval by the Washington Board of Health
*when these conditions are unrelieved by standard treatments or medications
Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess or cultivate no more than a 60-day supply of marijuana, defined by the Final Rule of November 2008 as:
- 15 plants in any stage of growth plus
- 24 ounces of usable marijuana
The law does not establish a state-run patient registry.Department of Health
PO Box 47866
Olympia, WA 98504-7866
Fax: 360-236-4768 MedicalMarijuana@doh.wa.gov
Full details of how to get a medical marijuana card in Washington.
Return to medical marijuana state laws
Update November 2012
Initiative 502, regarding the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes, was passed in the State of Washington by a convincing margin on 6th November 2012. This makes Washington, along with Colorado, the first U.S. state to legalize and tax the sale of marijuana for recreational use.
The finer details of law, which allows for the sale of marijuana to people over 21, have yet to be established. The state legislature has one year to create and implement a regulatory system that will govern the growing, labelling and taxation of marijuana. In the meantime, as of December 6th 2012 the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana will be decriminalized in Washington State.
This change in legislation does not affect current Medical Marijuana Card holders in Washington State. However, you should keep an eye open for updates to the law which may affect you.