Washington state has one of the country’s earliest laws allowing adults 21 and over to use marijuana free of fear, and one of the most restrictive.
Washington was a progenitor of the arbitrary and worthless DUI threshold of 5 ng/ml of THC in a driver’s blood, and for a time, Washington’s Initiative-502 also seriously disrupted the state’s existing marijuana supply chain seriously enough to lead some industry observers to question whether it would work at all.
Under legalization in Washington state, growing marijuana at your home is also a crime, and a very serious one at that—a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Only medical marijuana patients are allowed home grow, and while most marijuana consumers prefer to have someone else do the dirty work anyhow, this is one major benefit—or right, as many would attest—other states enjoy that Washingtonians do not.
At least for now.
New state legislation introduced this week would, if approved, allow all Washington residents aged 21 and over to grow up to six plants, just as residents are currently allowed to do in Colorado, Oregon, California, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, Alaska and Washington, D.C. (i.e., everywhere else marijuana has been legalized.)
But as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, even the home grow proposal has strict limits: Six plants per person, no more than 12 plants per household are common enough, but Washingtonians would also be limited to no more than 24 ounces of yield. If a plant does well, or if a gardener knows what they’re doing, they have to throw (or give) any “excess” flower away.
Bill sponsor Sherry Appleton represents parts of Bainbridge Island, where there are currently no dispensaries allowed at all. That would give residents an alternative to a scenic ferry ride when seeking out weed, but it doesn’t help them with the most basic gardening supply of all—the seeds.
As Seattle attorney Daniel Shortt told the paper, the proposal is silent on where growers are supposed to acquire their starting material, a rare gap in Washington’s tightly controlled supply chain. Considering how easy it’s been for years to buy seeds from overseas via mail-order or online, and how much easier it’s become now to get seeds domestically, that shouldn’t be much of a problem.
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