In Illinois, under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act passed in 2020, an individual can legally possess cannabis (marijuana) for medicinal and recreational purposes. But there are still restrictions on its usage and possession for recreational purposes. Laws are in place to ensure that it is consumed responsibly and not abused. As a result, it is still possible to be charged with a crime for possessing marijuana.
Illinois law pertaining to marijuana possession can be confusing. Failure to respect the laws can lead to severe penalties. That is why it is vital to understand them. In this article, we discuss marijuana possession laws. It also covers penalties for breaking the laws. We also explain how our attorneys can help you if you are arrested for marijuana possession.
Medical and recreational marijuana is legal in Illinois. However, many restrictions are imposed on its possession, especially in relation to age, the amount possessed, past criminal record, and the location where you were found to be in possession.
As per Section 4(a) of the Cannabis Control Act, a person under the age of 21 in possession of cannabis is in violation of civil law. A marijuana civil law violation may be punishable by a fine only. On the other hand, an Illinois resident above 21 can legally have the following cannabis products:
30 grams of cannabis flower
5 grams of cannabis concentrate
500 milligrams of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with cannabis-infused products.
For non-residents, the legal amounts they can have is capped at:
15 grams of cannabis flower
2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate
250 milligrams of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) infused products
Medical marijuana patients can grow cannabis plants. However, the law regulates how many plants can be grown. In Illinois, the limit is set at 5 plants per patient. Additionally, they have to be grown out of public view and out of reach of anyone who is under 21.
You should not transport cannabis you buy in Illinois outside the state. Although transporting marijuana within the state is legal, driving while high off of marijuana is illegal. Notably, consuming marijuana inside a motor vehicle is illegal, whether stationary or moving.
Transporting marijuana is legal only as long as it is not accessible to vehicle occupants and is packed in child-resistant containers.
Although Illinois legalized cannabis, users may only buy it at licensed dispensaries.
Consumption of marijuana in public, such as on the streets and school grounds, is illegal. Additionally, you cannot use marijuana at any place where smoking is prohibited under the Smoke-Free Illinois Act.
The drug laws in Illinois are strict. There are harsh punishments for breaking the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Below is the classification of cannabis possession charges:
Possession of 30-100 grams is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor. Such a charge could lead to up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. A subsequent offense is upgraded to a Class 4 felony charge.
Possession of 100-500 grams is a Class 4 felony charge. Any Class 4 felony charge could lead to between 1 and 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Possession between 500 to 2,000 grams is considered a Class 3 felony. A prison term of 2 to 5 years and a fine of up to $25,000 is applicable.
Possession between 2,000 grams to 5,000 grams is a Class 2 felony. You could spend between 3 to 7 years in prison for a Class 2 felony. Fines up to $25,000 are also applicable.
Possession above 5,000 grams is a Class 1 felony. You may face 4 to 15 years of prison time and up to $25,000 in fines for a Class 1 felony charge.
The circumstances of your arrest could determine the criminal offenses and charges you face and the maximum fine applicable. Another determining factor is the amount of cannabis found in your possession. Transporting cannabis across state borders could lead to the criminal offense of drug trafficking. An attorney can help you prepare a strong defense strategy and try to minimize the penalties applicable to your case.
Your attorney can point out that the police did not have probable cause to frisk or search your car.
Your attorney may also try to capitalize on the fact that the prosecution failed to prove that you possessed cannabis. Your case could also be discharged due to insufficiency of evidence. If the cannabis was not readily available to you, the prosecution may be unable to show how you could access it.
Your attorney can argue that the cannabis you had was for your personal use. This defense could work for possession with the intent to distribute charges.
A conviction for cannabis offenses could ruin almost every aspect of your life. It could lead to lost job opportunities due to a criminal record, jail or prison time, and heavy fines. An experienced criminal defense attorney may improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
A drug conviction does not give a potential landlord a good impression of you either. Police officers and prosecutors may gather much evidence to prove your guilt. That is why our aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorneys use all their resources to defend your freedom.
Do not watch as a marijuana possession case destroys your career or family. Work with an attorney who understands criminal defense and drug laws in Illinois. We can help you create a strong defense strategy. Schedule a free initial consultation with the Hirsch Law Group today, and let us guide you in your fight.
One thing you can trust us on is that you are in charge; we fight until you say stop. If that sounds like what you need, contact us today!