WA Bill to Legalize Personal Marijuana Cultivation Again Killed in Committee, Growing Even One Plant Will Remain a Felony

For at least another year Washington State will remain the only legal marijuana state that doesn’t allow personal marijuana cultivation.

Late last month the House Regulated Substances and Gaming Committee voted 7 to 4 to pass House Bill 2194, a measure to legalize the personal cultivation of up to four marijuana plants for everyone 21 and older. Now, the measure has been effectively killed in the House Appropriations Committee which has refused to act on the bill prior to a required deadline for this legislative session.

This marks the 10th year that lawmakers have tried, but failed, to approve legislation legalizing marijuana home grows. The state first legalized marijuana in 2012, tying Colorado as the first to do so. Since then, 22 other states have done the same, with all of them allowing those 21 and older to grow marijuana at all.

The measure was killed in committee despite negotiations reducing the bill from initially allowing six marijuana plants to be grown, to just four.

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.

When Washington legalized marijuana in 2012 via Initiative 502, proponents of the initiative 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, every other state that legalized marijuana include home grow provisions.

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