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How marijuana can still lead to arrests in Washington

Marijuana has been decriminalized in Washington, but only in certain circumstances. Even though it's legal for adults to possess a small amount, there are times when possessing or selling marijuana could get you into deep trouble with the law. On top of that, federal charges could apply in addition to state charges.

What should you know about marijuana in Washington? Here are three ways you can end up facing charges despite the legalization of weed.

1. You're too young to smoke legally

Adults are allowed to hold up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use in Washington. Adults are those over the age of 18. If you are under 18, you could be penalized for possessing marijuana. Juveniles may also have their driving privileges revoked for possessing or using marijuana. If you're within 1,000 feet of parks, schools or other restricted areas, you could face additional penalties including double fines and the possibility of imprisonment.

2. You possess too much marijuana

Another reason you could get in trouble despite the legalization of marijuana is if you possess too much. While it's legal for adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for private use, having more than an ounce but less than 40 ounces results in a misdemeanor charge and up to 90 days in jail. You can also be fined up to $1,000. There is a 24-hour mandatory minimum sentence, and if you possess more than 40 ounces, the penalties continue to rise. You face a felony charge and a $10,000 fine along with as many as five years in prison.

Adults may possess 16 ounces of marijuana-infused products, 72 ounces or less of marijuana-infused liquids and seven grams or less of marijuana concentrate. However, selling or possessing more than 40 grams of hash or concentrates can lead to felony charges.

3. You sell marijuana without a license

It's important to understand that individuals must purchase marijuana through the proper channels. Selling marijuana will result in a felony charge. If you sell to a minor at least three years younger than you are, you'll face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Growing your own marijuana is also a crime leading to a felony and up to five years in prison.

These are three ways you could end up fined and charged despite marijuana being legal for recreational use. Remember, if you're accused of a crime, a strong defense can help you protect yourself.

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