Cannabis in the US: It is now legal to smoke weed in Washington DC

Up to two ounces will be allowed per person over the age of 21

The US is getting greener by the day as Washington DC today became the latest place where the smoking and possession of cannabis is legal.

The capital of the United States has allowed the recreational use of weed since midnight after the states of Alaska, Colorado, Washington and Oregon have already amended their laws.

Residents and visitors can now have as much as two ounces (56 grams) of cannabis on their person and can even grow up to six plants at home – provided they are over the age of 21.
However, smoking spliffs on the streets of Capitol Hill would be prohibited as it is only allowed in private places. Buying and selling the substance remains illegal outside of licensed shops.

Alaska changed their laws on Tuesday to allow the possession of up to one ounce of weed and private cultivation up to six plants.

In Oregon, the recreational smoking of cannabis will also be legal from 1 July this year and it will be available to buy from designated shops.

The personal allowance of eight ounces in Oregon is significantly more generous than the other states and households will also be allowed to grow up to four plants each.

In Colorado, possession of up to one ounce is allowed and up to seven grams is permitted for non-residents. Smoking with discretion has also been advised. The state has also collected at least $60 million in taxes so far from licensed dispensary sales.

The state of Washington voted in favour of decriminalising marijuana in 2012. It is currently legal to purchase up to an ounce to smoke in private areas.
Jamaica also decriminalised possession of up to two ounces this month. It is now punishable by a fine instead of a three-year prison sentence.

Portugal was one of the first countries in the world to decriminalise the use of all drugs from 2001. Possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis is permitted but someone repeatedly caught would be ordered to mandatory rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, in Spain, it is legal to cultivate cannabis for personal use at home and it is legal in the Netherlands to smoke cannabis in designated coffeeshops and to possess up to five grams for personal use.

In the UK, possession of cannabis – a class B substance – can carry a prison sentence of up to five years and an unlimited fine or both, although it is deemed 114 times less deadly than alcohol.

A new political party called Cista – Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol – was launched earlier this month to advocate reforming laws that prohibit the private use of weed.

Around £900 million could be raised from sales of legalised, regulated and taxed cannabis and could cut the national deficit by £1.25 billion, the draft manifesto for Cista claims.

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