Washington Bill to Legalize Personal Marijuana Home Grows Approved by Committee

A Washington State bill to legalize personal marijuana cultivation for those 21 and older has been passed by its initial House committee.

Today the House Regulated Substances and Gaming Committee voted 7 to 4 to pass House Bill 2194. The measure would legalize the personal cultivation of up to four marijuana plants for everyone 21 and older.

The measure clarifies that “no more than 10 plants may be produced at any one time on the premises of a single housing unit, regardless of the number of residents living on the premises of the housing unit.”

Initially the measure would have allowed for the personal cultivation of up to six plants, or up to 15 per household. The committee approved an amendment lower it to four, and 10.

Currently it’s a Class C Felony to grow even one plant, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Washington is one of the only states among the 24 with legal marijuana to not allow personal cultivation. This is because proponents of the state’s legalization initiative (Initiative 502) argued that it would not be politically viable if it allowed adults to grow their own.

This was shown to be an incorrect assessment when Colorado voters, on the same day, approved a legalization initiative that did allow home grows, by a wider margin than voters approved Initiative 502. Following this, nearly every other state that legalized marijuana passed laws that allow those 21 and older to grow their own marijuana plants.

Washington State legalized marijuana in 2012, tying Colorado as the first state to do so. The law allows those 21+ to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and seven grams of marijuana concentrates, which they can purchase from a licensed marijuana retail outlet. The legal marijuana industry including licensing and regulatory enforcement is overseen by the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Control Board.

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