Marijuana possession is illegal in Washington. But the law provides an "affirmative defense" for qualified medical-marijuana patients and designated caregivers -- meaning they still can be arrested and charged but can use their authorizations as defense in court.
Qualifying patients and designated providers can have a 60-day supply -- defined as 24 ounces and 15 plants (WAC 246-75-010). A plant is defined as "any [marijuana] plant at any stage of growth" (WAC 246-75-010)
To qualify for medical marijuana, the Department of Health says, patients must suffer from a "terminal or debilitating medical condition" such as cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, intractable pain, Crohn's disease, hepatitis C, anorexia or others approved by the state Medical Quality Assurance Commission. Depression and anxiety don't qualify.
You need a written recommendation from a doctor for medical marijuana -- not a prescription. Effective June 1, 2010, a new law will allow some other health-care professionals, including naturopaths, to write authorizations.
A designated provider can provide medical marijuana for only one patient at any one time
Marijuana dispensaries, where medical pot can be purchased, are not legal in Washington.
Medical marijuana is illegal under federal law, but the Justice Department has said it won't target users if they are in strict compliance with state law.