Tag Archives: Illinois marijuana laws

St. Charles drug crimes lawyer

Illinois is possibly on the verge of legalizing marijuana for recreational use for adults age 21 and older, perhaps as early as Jan. 1, 2020. This would mean residents of the state could possess up to 30 grams of cannabis and non-residents could have up to 15 grams. The decriminalization could also lead to expungement for certain marijuana possession convictions that were made based on the current laws.

Marijuana Possession Penalties 

Currently, if a person is caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana, it is considered a civil violation, which means no jail time and a maximum fine of $200. A first offense with 10-30 grams is a misdemeanor, which could result in a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Anything over 30 grams is a felony, with conviction resulting in anywhere from a year to 30 years in jail and fines up to $25,000.

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Illinois DUI attorney

Just like an alcohol DUI, it is against the law in Illinois to be under the influence of any drug while operating a motor vehicle. In Illinois, a person convicted of drugged driving can face serious consequences. 

What is Drugged Driving?

If a person is pulled over or is involved in an accident, and it is discovered they are impaired by a prescription or illegal narcotic through field sobriety, breath, or blood test, it is considered a DUI. This includes legal medical marijuana cardholders who display signs of impairment or who fail a blood test.

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Naperville DUI Lawyers

With a DUI, most people immediately think of drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. While alcohol is the most commonly used intoxicant, it is not the only substance that it is illegal to be under the influence of while operating a motor vehicle. According to Illinois law, it is unlawful for any driver to be under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both while operating a motor vehicle. With medical marijuana legal in Illinois and recreational legalization perhaps on the horizon, driving under the influence of marijuana charges are increasingly common.

Marijuana and Illinois DUI Laws

In 2014, medical marijuana became legal for Illinois residents, as long as they have a valid prescription and I.D. card issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Cardholders are permitted to have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in the car with them, as long as it is kept in a secure and sealed container. Cardholders are not permitted to be under the influence of marijuana while driving, even if it is medically prescribed.

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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.

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Illinois Governor Works With Police to Eliminate Some Marijuana Criminal Penalties, Naperville criminal defense lawyerAccording to a recent news article, Governor Bruce Rauner has worked closely with representatives of the Illinois State Police and the legislature in order to essentially decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Lawmakers finalized Senate Bill 2228 on June 16, 2016, and sent it to the Governor, who signed it on July 27, 2016. Although Rauner failed to sign a similar measure into law last year, he indicated that he would be willing to sign it if legislators made certain provisions in the bill stronger, which they did.

The Practical Impact of SB 2228

SB 2228 eliminates any criminal penalties for possessing ten grams or less of marijuana. Instead, this level of possession will be a civil offense, punishable with a fine ranging from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $200. If an individual has paraphernalia along with the pot, it is also a civil law violation with a $100 - $200 fine. Additionally, municipalities are required to purge citation records for marijuana possession every six months, unless local governments opt out of the requirement. This will help alleviate minor criminal records that formerly would have lasted for an individual’s lifetime. Finally, the bill has made driving under the influence of marijuana, as measured by the level of THC in a driver’s blood within two hours of consumption, a crime. Under the new law, there will have to be at least five nanograms of THC, which is marijuana’s intoxicating chemical, in a driver’s blood.

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