Slide Recreational marijuana is legal in Washington state. What does that mean?

You must be 21 or older to buy or possess marijuana in Washington. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

It’s also illegal to use marijuana in public or drive under the influence of marijuana.

It’s illegal to provide marijuana to a minor, including your own child.

Breaking these law can lead to an underage conviction resulting in expensive fines and jail time.

This could prevent youth from:

being hired for a job

hurt their chances of getting into college and receiving financial aid

limit their access to housing in the future

Medical marijuana is legal in Washington state. It’s important to consult your doctor regarding medically authorized marijuana use.

Marijuana comes in many different forms.
Some of the most common ways people use marijuana are:


Products made with marijuana leaves or concentrates that can be consumed as food or beverages.

Joints / Blunts

Marijuana rolled into a cigarette, cigar, or blunt wrap.


Glass pipes are a tool commonly used for smoking marijuana.


Topical products infused with marijuana that can be used on the skin.


Marijuana in a solution of alcohol and concentrates like oils and waxes.


With the rise of vaping, vaporizing marijuana using products like JUUL or blu has become increasingly common.

What is the differencebetween recreational andmedical marijuana?

Recreational marijuana is used to get high.

Medical marijuana is for specific medical conditions such as pain when medically authorized by a doctor.

There are hundreds of chemicals found in marijuana, but the two most often talked about are THC (which causes the high) and CBD.

You may hear about some of the potential benefits of medical marijuana, but actually, there haven’t been enough tests to show that they’ll do more good than harm.

The important thing to remember is that like all drugs, marijuana has side effects and when doctors authorize medical marijuana use, they weigh the potential positive and negative effects for each patient.

How do I explain a family member's marijuana use to my youth?

Talking Tips for Parents

Take the time to speak to your youth about marijuana.
Here are some basic guidelines:

Just be open and show them that you care.

Present the Facts

Give your child information about the dangers of marijuana and why it’s addictive. You can also present studies that show marijuana use being associated with school failure and impaired driving abilities, among other issues.

Pick a Good Time

Don’t bring this up in the middle of a separate dispute or argument. Wait for a calm moment when your child is in good spirits to have the conversation.

Look for opportunities to naturally bring up the conversation, like while driving by a marijuana store, or when a character on TV uses marijuana.

Try to Understand

If your child admits to marijuana use, learn why they feel it’s necessary. Are they experiencing issues at school? Using it to manage depression? In most cases, drug use is simply masking a deeper issue.

Know that free, confidential support exists for youth and their parents at Teen Link.