Both medical and recreational cannabis use is legal in Washington. It is one of the first states to recognize the power of cannabis as medicine and it has a long history of allowing patients to get the product they need.
1979 – The state of Washington recognizes a legal defense for medical cannabis use in the case of State v. Diana.
1990s – Cannabis clubs were established to provide cannabis to medical patients.
1997 – Initiative 685 to legalize medical marijuana is proposed but fails.
1998 – Initiative 692 decriminalizes cannabis and effectively establishes a medical marijuana program, as it allowed physicians to recommend medical marijuana to patients with terminal or debilitating illnesses.
2003 – Seattle passes an initiative to make adult marijuana possession the lowest priority of law enforcement agencies in the city.
2010 – Two bills are proposed, one which would have legalized liquor store sales, and the other which would have decriminalized possession of 40 grams or less of cannabis, and both bills died. Initiative 1068 is also proposed, which would have removed all state-level penalties for cannabis use or possession for adults aged 18 or over.
2012 – Initiative 502 is passed. Possession of up to 1 ounce (28 g) of marijuana by adults became legal under state law on December 6; however, cultivation, sale, and even gifting remained illegal. Those without a Washington medical cannabis card cannot cultivate cannabis legally.