Code of the District of Columbia

§ 48–1103. Prohibited acts.

(a)(1) Except as authorized by Chapter 16B of Title 7 [§ 7-1671.01 et seq.], it is unlawful for any person to use, or to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inhale, ingest, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance; except that it shall be lawful for any person 21 years of age or older to use, or possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to possess or use marijuana if such possession or use is lawful under § 48-904.01(a), or to use, or possess with intent to u se, drug paraphernalia to grow, possess, harvest, or process cannabis plants, the growth, possession, harvesting or processing of which is lawful under § 48-904.01(a).

(2) Whoever violates this subsection shall be imprisoned for not more than 30 days or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.

(b)(1) Except as authorized by Chapter 16B of Title 7 [§ 7-1671.01 et seq.], it is unlawful for any person to deliver or sell, possess with intent to deliver or sell, or manufacture with intent to deliver or sell drug paraphernalia, knowingly, or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that it will be used to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance; except that it shall be lawful for any person to deliver or sell, possess with intent to deliver or sell, or manufacture with intent to deliver or sell, drug paraphernalia under circumstances in which one knows or has reason to know that such drug paraphernalia will be used solely for use of marijuana that is lawful under § 48-904.01(a), or that such drug paraphernalia will be used solely for growing, possession, harvesting, or processing of cannabis plants that is lawful under § 48-904.01(a).

(2) Whoever violates this subsection shall be imprisoned for not more than 6 months or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both, unless the violation occurs after the person has been convicted in the District of Columbia of a violation of this subchapter, in which case the person shall be imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.

(c) Any person 18 years of age or over who violates subsection (b) of this section by delivering drug paraphernalia to a person under 18 years of age who is at least 3 years his or her junior is guilty of a special offense and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than 8 years, fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.

(d) Where the violation of the section involves the selling of drug paraphernalia by a commercial retail or wholesale establishment, the court shall revoke the license of any licensee convicted of a violation of this section and the certificate of occupancy for the premises.

(e)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2), (3), and (3A) of this subsection, it is unlawful to sell the following products in the District of Columbia:

(A) Cocaine free base kits;

(B) Glass or ceramic tubes less than 6 inches in length and 1 inch in diameter sold or possessed with or without any screen-like device;

(C) Cigarette rolling papers; and

(D) Cigar wrappers, including blunt wraps.

(2) A commercial retail or wholesale establishment may sell cigarette rolling papers if the establishment:

(A) Derives at least 25% of its total annual revenue from the sale of tobacco products; and

(B) Sells loose tobacco intended to be rolled into cigarettes or cigars.

(3) A wholesaler may sell cigarette rolling papers to retail establishments described in paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(3A) A cultivation center or dispensary may sell cigarette rolling papers in accordance with Chapter 16B of Title 7 [§ 7-1671.01 et seq.].

(4) A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned for not more than 180 days or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both, unless the violation occurs after the person has been convicted in the District of Columbia of a violation of this subchapter, in which case the person shall be imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.


(Sept. 17, 1982, D.C. Law 4-149, § 4, 29 DCR 3369; Mar. 14, 1985, D.C. Law 5-159, § 14, 32 DCR 30; June 13, 1990, D.C. Law 8-138, § 3(b), 37 DCR 2638; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-213, § 2(c), 43 DCR 4990; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 227(c), 53 DCR 8610; July 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-189, § 5(b), 57 DCR 3019; July 27, 2010, D.C. Law 18-210, § 3(d), 57 DCR 4798; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 138, 59 DCR 6190; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 254, 60 DCR 2064; July 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-126, § 409, 61 DCR 3482; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-153, § 3, 62 DCR 880.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-603.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-403, § 48-1102, § 48-1103.01, § 48-1104, and § 48-1201.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-306 added subsec. (e).

D.C. Law 18-189 rewrote subsec. (e)(1)(D); and, in subsecs. (e)(2) and (3), deleted “or cigar leaf wrappers” following “rolling papers”. Prior to amendment, subsec. (e)(1)(D), read as follows: “(D) Cigar leaf wrappers.”

D.C. Law 18-210, in subsecs. (a) and (b), substituted “Except as authorized by Chapter 16B of Title 7, it is unlawful” for “It is unlawful”; in subsec. (e)(1), substituted “Except as provided in paragraphs (2), (3), and (3A) of this subsection,” for “Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection,”; and added subsec. (e)(3A).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 substituted “paragraphs (2), (3), and (3A) of this subsection” for “paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) of this subsection” in (e)(1); and validated a previously made technical correction in (e)(3A).

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 $100” in (a); in (b), substituted the first occurrence of “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “for not more than $1,000” and the second occurrence for “not more than $5,000”; substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $15,000” in (c); and, in (e)(4), substituted the first occurrence of “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “for not more than $1,000” and the second occurrence for “not more than $5,000”.

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

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 227(c) 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 § 227(c) 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 § 227(c) 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 § 227(c) of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 254 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.

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 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.”