Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter IV. Offenses and Penalties.


§ 48–904.01. Prohibited acts A; penalties.

(a)(1) Except as authorized by this chapter or Chapter 16B of Title 7 [§ 7-1671.01 et seq.], it is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to manufacture, distribute, or possess, with intent to manufacture or distribute, a controlled substance. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, it shall be lawful, and shall not be an offense under District of Columbia law, for any person 21 years of age or older to:

(A) Possess, use, purchase, or transport marijuana weighing 2 ounces or less;

(B) Transfer to another person 21 years of age or older, without remuneration, marijuana weighing one ounce or less;

(C) Possess, grow, harvest, or process, within the interior of a house or rental unit that constitutes such person’s principal residence, no more than 6 cannabis plants, with 3 or fewer being mature, flowering plants; provided, that all persons residing within a single house or single rental unit may not possess, grow, harvest, or process, in the aggregate, more than 12 cannabis plants, with 6 or fewer being mature, flowering plants;

(D) Possess within such house or rental unit the marijuana produced by such plants; provided that, nothing in this subsection shall make it lawful to sell, offer for sale, or make available for sale any marijuana or cannabis plants.

(1A)(A) The terms “controlled substance” and “controlled substances,” as used in the District of Columbia Official Code, shall not include:

(i) Marijuana that is or was in the personal possession of a person 21 years of age or older at any specific time if the total amount of marijuana that is or was in the possession of that person at that time weighs or weighed 2 ounces or less;

(ii) Cannabis plants that are or were grown, possessed, harvested, or processed by a person 21 years of age or older within the interior of a house or rental unit that constitutes or at the time constituted, such person’s principal residence, if such person at that time was growing no more than 6 cannabis plants with 3 or fewer being mature flowering plants and if all persons residing within that single house or single rental unit at that time did not possess, grow, harvest, or process, in the aggregate, more than 12 cannabis plants, with 6 or fewer being mature, flowering plants; or

(iii) The marijuana produced by the plants which were grown, possessed, harvested, or processed by a person who was, pursuant to sub-subparagraph (ii) of this subparagraph, permitted to grow, possess, harvest, and process such plants, if such marijuana is or was in the personal possession of that person who is growing or grew such plants, within the house or rental unit in which the plants are or were grown.

(B) Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, the terms “controlled substance” and “controlled substances,” as used in the District of Columbia Official Code, shall include any marijuana or cannabis plant sold or offered for sale or made available for sale.

(1B) Notwithstanding any other provision of the District of Columbia Official Code, no District government agency or office shall limit or refuse to provide any facility service, program, or benefit to any person based upon or by reason of conduct that is made lawful by this subsection.

(1C) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require any District government agency or office, or any employer, to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing of marijuana in the workplace or to affect the ability of any such agency, office, or employer to establish and enforce policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees.

(1D) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to permit driving under the influence of marijuana or driving while impaired by use or ingestion of marijuana or to modify or affect the construction or application of any provision of the District of Columbia Official Code related to driving under the influence of marijuana or driving while impaired by marijuana.

(1E) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit any person, business, corporation, organization, or other entity, or District government agency or office, who or which occupies, owns, or controls any real property, from prohibiting or regulating the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation, or growing of marijuana on or in that property.

(1F) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to make unlawful any conduct permitted by Chapter 16B of Title 7 [§ 7-1671.01 et seq.].

(2) Any person who violates this subsection with respect to:

(A) A controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II that is a narcotic or abusive drug shall be imprisoned for not more than 30 years or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both;

(B) Any other controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, or III, except for a narcotic or abusive drug, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both; except that upon conviction of manufacturing, distributing or possessing with intent to distribute ½ pound or less of marijuana, a person who has not previously been convicted of manufacturing, distributing or possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance or attempting to manufacture, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance may be imprisoned for not more than 180 days or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or both;

(C) A substance classified in Schedule IV, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 3 years, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both; or

(D) A substance classified in Schedule V, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than one year, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.

(b)(1) Except as authorized by this chapter, it is unlawful for any person to create, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute a counterfeit substance.

(2) Any person who violates this subsection with respect to:

(A) A counterfeit substance classified in Schedule I or II that is a narcotic or abusive drug shall be imprisoned for not more than 30 years or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both;

(B) Any other counterfeit substance classified in Schedule I, II, or III, except for a narcotic or abusive drug, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both;

(C) A counterfeit substance classified in Schedule IV, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 3 years, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both; or

(D) A counterfeit substance classified in Schedule V, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 1 year, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.

(c) Repealed.

(d)(1) It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this chapter or Chapter 16B of Title 7 [§ 7-1671.01 et seq.], and provided in § 48-1201. Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 180 days, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.

(2) Any person who violates this subsection by knowingly or intentionally possessing the abusive drug phencyclidine in liquid form is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, may be imprisoned for not more than 3 years, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.

(e)(1) If any person who has not previously been convicted of violating any provision of this chapter, or any other law of the United States or any state relating to narcotic or abusive drugs or depressant or stimulant substances is found guilty of a violation of subsection (d) of this section and has not previously been discharged and had the proceedings dismissed pursuant to this subsection, the court may, without entering a judgment of guilty and with the consent of such person, defer further proceedings and place him or her on probation upon such reasonable conditions as it may require and for such period, not to exceed one year, as the court may prescribe. Upon violation of a condition of the probation, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided. The court may, in its discretion, dismiss the proceedings against such person and discharge him or her from probation before the expiration of the maximum period prescribed for such person’s probation. If during the period of probation such person does not violate any of the conditions of the probation, then upon expiration of such period the court shall discharge such person and dismiss the proceedings against him or her. Discharge and dismissal under this subsection shall be without court adjudication of guilt, but a nonpublic record thereof shall be retained solely for the purpose of use by the courts in determining whether or not, in subsequent proceedings, such person qualifies under this subsection. Such discharge or dismissal shall not be deemed a conviction for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime (including the penalties prescribed under § 48-904.08 for second or subsequent convictions) or for any other purpose.

(2) Upon the dismissal of such person and discharge of the proceedings against him under paragraph (1) of this subsection, such person may apply to the court for an order to expunge from all official records (other than the nonpublic records to be retained under paragraph (1) of this subsection) all recordation relating to his or her arrest, indictment or information, trial, finding of guilty, and dismissal and discharge pursuant to this subsection. If the court determines, after hearing, that such person was dismissed and the proceedings against him or her discharged, it shall enter such order. The effect of such order shall be to restore such person, in the contemplation of this law, to the status he or she occupied before such arrest or indictment or information. No person as to whom such order has been entered shall be held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of failure to recite or acknowledge such arrest, or indictment, or trial in response to any inquiry made of him or her for any purpose.

(3) A person who was discharged from probation and whose case was dismissed pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be entitled to a copy of the nonpublic record retained under paragraph (1) of this subsection but only to the extent that such record would have been available to the person before an order of expungement was entered pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection. A request for a copy of the nonpublic record may be made ex parte and under seal by the person or by an authorized representative of the person.

(f) The prosecutor may charge any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section relating to the distribution of or possession with intent to distribute a controlled or counterfeit substance with a violation of subsection (d) of this section if the interests of justice so dictate.

(g) For the purposes of this section, “offense” means a prior conviction for a violation of this section or a felony that relates to narcotic or abusive drugs, marijuana, or depressant or stimulant drugs, that is rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States.


(Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 401, 28 DCR 3081; Nov. 17, 1981, D.C. Law 4-52, § 3(c)(1), 28 DCR 4348; Mar. 9, 1983, D.C. Law 4-166, §§ 9, 10, 30 DCR 1082; Sept. 26, 1984, D.C. Law 5-121, § 2(a), 31 DCR 4046; Mar. 15, 1985, D.C. Law 5-171, § 2(a), 32 DCR 730; Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-201, § 2(c), 34 DCR 524; June 13, 1990, D.C. Law 8-138, § 2(c), 37 DCR 2638; Aug. 20, 1994, D.C. Law 10-151, § 112(a), 41 DCR 2608; May 25, 1995, D.C. Law 10-258,§ 3, 42 DCR 238; Apr. 18, 1996, D.C. Law 11-110, § 34(b), 43 DCR 530; June 8, 2001, D.C. Law 13-300, § 2(c), 47 DCR 7037; July 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-196, § 2, 57 DCR 4522; July 27, 2010, D.C. Law 18-210, § 3(c), 57 DCR 4798; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 252(a), 60 DCR 2064; June 15, 2013, D.C. Law 19-319, § 5, 60 DCR 2333; July 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-126, § 408, 61 DCR 3482; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-153, § 2, 62 DCR 880.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-541.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-403, § 23-546, § 24-112, § 24-221.06, § 24-906, § 48-904.06, § 48-904.07, § 48-904.07a, and § 48-905.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-300, in subsec. (a), par. (2)(A), substituted “both; except that upon conviction of manufacturing, distributing or possessing with intent to distribute ½ pound or less of marijuana, a person who has not previously been convicted of manufacturing, distributing or possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance or attempting to manufacture, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance may be imprisoned for not more than 180 days or fined not more than $1000 or both” for “both”.

D.C. Law 18-196 rewrote subsec. (d), which had read as follows: “(d) It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this chapter. Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 180 days, fined not more than $1,000, or both.”

D.C. Law 18-210, in subsec. (a)(1), substituted “Except as authorized by this chapter or Chapter 16B of Title 7,” for “Except as authorized by this chapter”; and, in subsec. (d), substituted “except as otherwise authorized by this chapter or Chapter 16B of Title 7” for “except as otherwise authorized by this chapter”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $500,000” in (a)(2)(A); in (a)(2)(B), substituted the first occurrence of “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $50,000” and the second occurrence for “not more than $1,000”; substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $25,000” in (a)(2)(C) and for “not more than $10,000” in (a)(2)(D); in (b)(2), substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $500,000” in (b)(2)(A), for “not more than $50,000” in (b)(2)(B), for “not more than $25,000” in (b)(2)(C), and for “not more than $10,000” in (b)(2)(D); and in (d), substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $1,000” in (d)(1), and for “not more than $3,000” in (d)(2).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-319 added (e)(3).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-153 rewrote (a).

Cross References

Duties, powers, and goals of Prison Commission, see § 24-112.

Good time credits, exceptions, see § 24-221.06.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 252(a) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Mayor to implement public information program: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 48-901.02.

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.

Section 4 of D.C. Law 20-153 provided that the amounts of the fines set forth in § 22-3571.01 and § 48-1103 shall be adjusted through implementing or amending legislation enacted by the Council of the District of Columbia to the extent necessary to ensure that the act does not negate or limit any act of the Council of the District of Columbia pursuant to § 1-204.46.

Section 809 of through 113 P.L. 235 provided:

“(a) None of the Federal funds contained in this Act may be used to enact or carry out any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act ( 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) or any tetrahydrocannabinols derivative.

“(b) None of the funds contained in this Act may be used to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act ( 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) or any tetrahydrocannabinols derivative for recreational purposes.”


§ 48–904.02. Prohibited acts B; penalties.

(a) It is unlawful for any person:

(1) Who is subject to subchapter III of this chapter to distribute or dispense a controlled substance in violation of § 48-903.08;

(2) Who is a registrant, to manufacture a controlled substance not authorized by registration, or to distribute or dispense a controlled substance not authorized by registration to another registrant or other authorized person;

(3) To refuse or fail to make, keep or furnish any record, notification, order form, statement, invoice, or information required under this chapter;

(4) To refuse an entry into any premises for any inspection authorized by this chapter;

(5) Knowingly to keep or maintain any store, shop, warehouse, dwelling, building, vehicle, boat, aircraft, or other structure or place, which is resorted to by persons using controlled substances in violation of this chapter for the purpose of using these substances or which is used for keeping or selling them in violation of this chapter;

(6) Who is a law-enforcement official, as designated by the Mayor, or a designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department, to divulge any knowledge relating to the records, order forms, or prescriptions of registrants which he or she received by virtue of his or her office, except in connection with officially authorized duties or in connection with a prosecution or proceeding in court or before a licensing or registration board or officer, to which prosecution or proceeding the registrant to whom such records, order forms, or prescriptions relate is a party; or

(7) To use to his or her own advantage or to reveal, other than to duly authorized officers or employees of the District of Columbia or the United States, or to the courts when relevant in any judicial proceeding under this subchapter or subchapter III of this chapter, any information acquired in the course of an authorized inspection concerning any method or process which as a trade secret is entitled to protection.

(b) Except as provided for in subsection (c) of this section, any person who violates this section shall, with respect to any violation, be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $50,000.

(c) If a violation of this section is prosecuted by an information or indictment which alleges that the violation was committed knowingly and the trier of fact specifically finds that the violation was so committed, such person shall be guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than one year, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.


(Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 402, 28 DCR 3081; June 12, 1999, D.C. Law 12-284, § 10(b), 46 DCR 1328; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 252(b), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-542.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $50,000” in (c).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 10(b) of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization and Street Solicitation for Prostitution Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-428, August 6, 1998, 45 DCR 5884), § 10(b) of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-506, November 10, 1998, 45 DCR 8139), and § 10(b) of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-13, February 8, 1999, 46 DCR 2333).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 252(b) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 10(b) of Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-282, May 28, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 5148).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.


§ 48–904.03. Prohibited acts C; penalties.

(a) It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally:

(1) To distribute as a registrant a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II, except pursuant to an order form as required by § 48-903.07;

(2) To use in the course of the manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance a registration number which is fictitious, revoked, suspended, or issued to another person;

(3) To acquire or obtain possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge;

(4) To furnish false or fraudulent material information in, or omit any material information from, any application, report, or other document required to be kept or filed under this chapter, or any record required to be kept by this chapter; or

(5) To make, distribute, or possess any punch, die, plate, stone, or other thing designed to print, imprint, or reproduce the trademark, trade name, or other identifying mark, imprint, or device of another or any likeness of any of the foregoing upon any drug or container or labeling thereof so as to render the drug a counterfeit substance.

(b) Any person who violates this section is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 4 years, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.


(Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 403, 28 DCR 3081; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 252(c), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-543.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $50,000” in (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 252(c) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.


§ 48–904.03a. Prohibited acts D; penalties.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly open or maintain any place to manufacture, distribute, or store for the purpose of manufacture or distribution a narcotic or abusive drug.

(b) Any person who violates this section shall be imprisoned for not less than 5 years nor more than 25 years, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.


(Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 411; as added June 13, 1990, D.C. Law 8-138, § 2(e), 37 DCR 2638; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 252(f), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-543a.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $500,000” in (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 252(f) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Mayor to implement public information program: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 48-901.02.

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.


§ 48–904.04. Penalties under other laws.

Any penalty imposed for violation of this chapter is in addition to, and not in lieu of, any civil or administrative penalty or sanction otherwise authorized by law.


(Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 404, 28 DCR 3081.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-544.


§ 48–904.05. Effect of acquittal or conviction under federal law.

No person shall be prosecuted for a violation of any provision of this chapter if such person has been acquitted or convicted under any United States statute governing the sale or distribution of controlled substances of the same act or omission which is alleged to constitute a violation of this chapter.


(Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 405, 28 DCR 3081.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-545.


§ 48–904.06. Distribution to minors.

(a) Any person who is 21 years of age or over and who violates § 48-904.01(a) by distributing a controlled substance which is listed in Schedule I or II and which is a narcotic drug, phencyclidine, or a phencyclidine immediate precursor to a person who is under 18 years of age may be punished by the fine authorized by § 48-904.01(a)(2)(A), by a term of imprisonment of up to twice that authorized by § 48-904.01(a)(2)(A), or by both.

(b) Any person who is 21 years of age or over and who violates § 48-904.01(a) by distributing for remuneration any other controlled substance which is listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V, except for phencyclidine or a phencyclidine immediate precursor, to a person who is under 18 years of age may be punished by the fine authorized by § 48-904.01(a)(2)(B), (C), or (D), respectively, by a term of imprisonment up to twice that authorized by § 48-904.01(a)(2)(B), (C), or (D), respectively, or both.


(Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 406, 28 DCR 3081; Mar. 15, 1985, D.C. Law 5-171, § 2(b), 32 DCR 730.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-546.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 48-904.08.


§ 48–904.07. Enlistment of minors to distribute.

(a) Any person who is 21 years of age or over and who enlists, hires, contracts, or encourages any person under 18 years of age to sell or distribute any controlled substance, in violation of § 48-904.01(a), for the profit or benefit of such person who enlists, hires, contracts, or encourages this criminal activity shall be punished for sale or distribution in the same manner as if that person directly sold or distributed the controlled substance.

(b) Anyone found guilty of subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to the following additional penalties:

(1) Upon a first conviction the party may be imprisoned for not more than 10 years, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both;

(2) Upon a second or subsequent conviction, the party may be imprisoned for not more than 20 years, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.


(Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 407, 28 DCR 3081; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 252(d), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-547.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $10,000” in (b)(1), and for “not more than $20,000” in (b)(2).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 252(d) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.


§ 48–904.07a. Drug free zones.

(a) All areas within 1000 feet of an appropriately identified public or private day care center, elementary school, vocational school, secondary school, junior college, college, or university, or any public swimming pool, playground, video arcade, youth center, or public library, or in and around public housing, as defined in section 3(1) of the United States Housing Act of 1937, approved August 22, 1974 (88 Stat. 654; 42 U.S.C. § 1437a(b)), the development or administration of which is assisted by Department of Housing and Urban Development, or in or around housing that is owned, operated, or financially assisted by the District of Columbia Housing Authority, or an event sponsored by any of the above entities shall be declared a drug free zone. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “appropriately identified” means that there is a sign that identifies the building or area as a drug free zone.

(b) Any person who violates § 48-904.01(a) by distributing or possessing with the intent to distribute a controlled substance which is listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V within a drug free zone shall be punished by a fine up to twice that otherwise authorized by this chapter to be imposed, by a term of imprisonment up to twice that otherwise imposed, or both.


(Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 407a; as added Mar. 21, 1995, D.C. Law 10-229, § 2(b), 42 DCR 9; Sept. 18, 1998, D.C. Law 12-146, § 2, 45 DCR 3851; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-353, § 702, 52 DCR 2331; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 225, 53 DCR 8610.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-547.1.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-353, in subsec. (a), inserted “public charter school,” following “secondary school,”.

D.C. Law 16-306 rewrote subsec. (a), which had read as follows: “(a) All areas within 1000 feet of a public or private day care center, elementary school, vocational school, secondary school, public charter school, junior college, college, or university, or any public swimming pool, playground, video arcade, youth center, public library, or in and around public housing, as defined in section 3(1) of the United States Housing Act of 1937, approved August 22, 1974 (88 Stat. 654; 42 U.S.C. § 1437a(b)), the development or administration of which is assisted by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, or an event sponsored by any of the above entities shall be declared a drug free zone.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 702 of Child and Youth, Safety And Health Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-310, March 26, 2002, 49 DCR 3420).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 702 of Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-3, January 22, 2003, 50 DCR 1426).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 702 of Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-71, April 16, 2003, 50 DCR 3593).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 702 of Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Second Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-279, December 18, 2003, 51 DCR 60).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 702 of Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-407, March 18, 2004, 51 DCR 3659).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 702 of Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-630, November 30, 2004, 52 DCR 1143).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 702 of Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-30, February 17, 2005, 52 DCR 2993).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 225 of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 225 of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 225 of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 225 of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 702 of the Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Temporary Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-164, June 25, 2002, law notification 49 DCR 6500).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 702 of the Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Temporary Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 15-2, May 3, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 3782).

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 702 of the Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Temporary Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Law 15-117, March 30, 2004, law notification 51 DCR 3804).

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 702 of the Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Second Temporary Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Law 15-319, on April 8, 2005, law notification 52 DCR 4708).


§ 48–904.08. Second or subsequent offenses.

(a) Any person convicted under this chapter of a second or subsequent offense may be imprisoned for a term up to twice the term otherwise authorized, fined an amount up to twice that otherwise authorized, or both.

(b) For purposes of this section, an offense is considered a second or subsequent offense if, prior to commission of the offense, the offender has at any time been convicted under this chapter or under any statute of the United States or of any state relating to a controlled substance.

(c) A person who is convicted of violating § 48-904.06 may be sentenced according to the provisions of § 48-904.06 or according to the provisions of this section, but not both.


(Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 408, 28 DCR 3081; June 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-320, § 301(f), 60 DCR 3390.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-548.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 48-904.01.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-320 substituted “convicted under this chapter of a second or subsequent offense” for “convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this chapter” in (a); and substituted “a controlled substance” for “narcotic drugs, depressants, stimulants, or hallucinogenic drugs” in (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 301(f) of the Omnibus Criminal Code Amendments Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-599, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1017).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 301(f) of the Omnibus Criminal Code Amendment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-44, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5381, 20 DCSTAT 1281).


§ 48–904.09. Attempt; conspiracy.

Any person who attempts or conspires to commit any offense defined in this subchapter is punishable by imprisonment or fine or both which may not exceed the maximum punishment prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy.


(Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 409, 28 DCR 3081.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-549.


§ 48–904.10. Possession of drug paraphernalia.

Whoever, except for a physician, dentist, chiropodist, or veterinarian licensed in the District of Columbia or a state, registered nurse, registered embalmer, manufacturer or dealer in embalming supplies, wholesale druggist, industrial user, official of any government having possession of the proscribed articles by reason of his or her official duties, nurse or medical laboratory technician acting under the direction of a physician or dentist, employees of a hospital or medical facility acting under the direction of its superintendent or officer in immediate charge, person engaged in chemical, clinical, pharmaceutical or other scientific research, acting in the course of their professional duties, has in his or her possession a hypodermic needle, hypodermic syringe, or other instrument that has on or in it any quantity (including a trace) of a controlled substance with intent to use it for administration of a controlled substance by subcutaneous injection in a human being shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both.


(Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 410, 28 DCR 3081; Aug. 20, 1994, D.C. Law 10-151, § 112(b), 41 DCR 2608; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 252(e), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-550.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-403 and § 48-1103.01.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $1,000”.

Cross References

Needle exchange program, privileges and immunities, see § 48-1103.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 252(e) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.