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In November 2012, Washington State voters passed Initiative 502 (I-502), which legalized limited possession, private use, and commercial sales of cannabis for adults. Specifically, I-502 legalized the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis (about 28 grams) for personal use for individuals ages 21 and older.
In this report, we examined how rates of cannabis possession misdemeanor convictions have changed since the enactment of I-502. We found that cannabis possession conviction rates dropped to almost zero among adults of legal age immediately after I-502 went into effect. Rates also substantively dropped for underaged individuals after NMC legalization, but not as dramatically as for adults ages 21 and over. Across all age groups, we find no significant changes in conviction rates after the advent of NMC retail operations.