Current State of Marijuana Laws in Illinois

Current State of Marijuana Laws in IllinoisMarijuana laws are changing rapidly all over the country, and it is important to stay up to date on the changes in your state. To be sure, keeping abreast of the following marijuana laws in the state can help ensure you avoid facing drug charges in the future.

Medical Marijuana

Since 2013, Illinois has had a medical marijuana program. People diagnosed with certain qualifying conditions can apply for a medical cannabis registry identification card. In order to receive entry into the program, a patient must get written verification from his or her medical providers that specify the conditions that make a person eligible for the program. If someone receives medical services from the Veterans Administration, there is a slightly different process which requires the submission of one year of medical records.

The program has been amended a couple times since it was originally passed to expand the conditions and ages of persons eligible for the program.

Decriminalization of Possession

Earlier this year, Illinois decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. People caught possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana are now issued a citation, similar to a traffic ticket. This does not make marijuana legal and penalties can include fines of $100 to $200, and other municipal penalties including drug treatment. Before this change in the law, possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana was a misdemeanor. Penalties include jail time for up to six months and/or fines of up to $2,500.

Criminalized Possession

Under current Illinois law, it is still a crime to possess over 10 grams of marijuana. Possession of 10-30 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor on the first offense and a felony for subsequent offenses. Misdemeanor possession comes with up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Felony possession of 10-30 grams of marijuana, or a first offense of possession of 30-500 grams of marijuana is penalized by a mandatory minimum of at least one year in prison and up to six years, and a fine of up to $25,000.

Sale of Marijuana

Sale of marijuana is punished more harshly than possession and there is no decriminalization of any amount for sales. Sale of 2.5 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor that comes with a fine of up to $1,500 and up to six months in jail. Being caught selling 2.5-10 grams is also a misdemeanor, but comes with up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500. If you are convicted of selling more than 10 grams of marijuana it is a felony in Illinois. Sale of 10-30 grams is penalized with a one-year mandatory minimum jail sentence and up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. While penalties for selling 30-500 grams are even harsher and include a two-year mandatory prison sentence up to 10 years and a fine of up to $50,000.

Naperville Drug Crime Defense Attorneys

Even though small amounts of marijuana are decriminalized, there are still harsh penalties for possession of larger amounts or sale of marijuana. If you are charged with a drug crime, you need knowledgeable drug crime defense attorneys on your side to defend you against the charges. Our passionate Naperville drug crime defense attorneys at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC will zealously defend you or help you to get the charges reduced.

 

Sources:
https://www.illinois.gov/gov/mcpp/Pages/default.aspx
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-illinois-marijuana-decriminalzation-0730-20160729-story.html

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