Be Informed: I-502

I-502 was an initiative to the Washington State Legislature in 2012 that proposed the legalization of recreational marijuana use and sale to the general public within the borders of the State of Washington. The legislature adjourned without action in April 2012, automatically advancing the initiative to the general ballot the following November. The initiative passed 56 to 44 percent and certification for producers and growers began in December 2012.

I-502 restricts the sale of recreational marijuana products to individuals 21 years of age and older, taxing sales with revenue directed toward healthcare and substance-abuse prevention and education services. The law does not supersede federal law, therefore, it is illegal to transport or consume recreational cannabis outside the borders of Washington State.

I-502

Stay Informed

Can customers consume marijuana within a retail establishment?

No, on-premise consumption is not allowed under I-502 laws.

Can I still fail a drug test now that cannabis use is legal?

Yes, employers may still conduct drug testing for marijuana at their discretion. Challenges to this practice are ongoing, but organizations that operate within both Washington and Colorado such as the NBA and the NFL have reinforced previous policies regarding testing for cannabis in its workforce despite the state-level legalization.

What are the restrictions pertaining to cannabis use and operation of a motor vehicle?

Under the new law, a DUI limit of delta-9 THC levels at or greater than 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood over the limit.

Can non-residents purchase marijuana?

Yes, but those products can only be consumed within the State of Washington and may not be transported to another state or country.

I-502 says a person cannot consume marijuana in public. What does that mean?

It is unlawful to consume or open a marijuana product within view of the general public.

How much marijuana can I legally possess under I-502?

Consumers may legally possess:

  • 1 ounce of marijuana
  • 16 ounces of solid infused marijuana products
  • 72 ounces of liquid infused products
  • 7 grams of concentrates

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