Washington, D.C., has become the latest place in the United States to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
From 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, pot smokers who use the drug in private will no longer be in danger of prosecution.
Buying and selling the drug remains illegal, as does smoking it in public.
D.C. joins Colorado, Washington state and Alaska in allowing the drug for recreational use.
Just four countries have legalized marijuana: parts of the U.S., the Netherlands, Uruguay … and North Korea.
Bizarrely, marijuana is freely for sale in the stern Communist state, according to defectors.
Here’s what you need to know about the new marijuana laws in D.C.:
1. Recreational Marijuana Use Became Legal in DC at 12.01 on Thursday
Voters in the nation’s capital went to the polls last November and approved Initiative 71, which legalized home pot use.
However, Congress stepped in and forbade the District from instituting legislation dealing with the sale or taxation of pot. In other words,it can’t be sold or taxed.Marijuana must be home grown for home use.
2. You Must be Over 21
DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser announced live on TV on Wednesday that marijuana possession would become legal the following day.
In a letter sent on Tuesday, two members of Congress warned her that she risked breaking the law, but the Mayor was insistent that she would grant the wishes of the people.
3. You Can Only Possess 2 Ounces or Less
Initiative 71 legalized possession of up to 2 ounces for DC residents and visitors over 21. An overwhelming 70% of voters wanted the measure approved. The initiative passed in every precinct except one, where it failed by just nine votes.
However, Republicans in Congress have warned the Mayor and the D.C. Council that they may be breaking the law by instituting the new law and even threatened prison time.
“We believe we’re acting lawfully,” said Mayor Muriel E.Bowser. “I have a lot of things to do in the District of Columbia. Me being in jail wouldn’t be a good thing.”
4. You Can only Have up to 3 Mature Cannabis Plants
Home cultivation of six plants is allowed, as is possession of marijuana paraphernalia and sharing of the drug, although not for money and no more than one ounce.
But D.C. residents are only legally able to own three mature plants.
5. You Can Only Use it on Private Property
The marijuana ban remains in force on public property, including restaurants, bars, coffee shops or any federal property.
Only private recreational use is allowed — but if you live in public housing you’re not still not allowed to smoke the drug.