Tag Archives: marijuana

Illinois drug charges expungement attorney

It is no secret that cannabis laws are changing throughout the country, with some states legalizing the sale and use of marijuana, while others continue to incriminate those found in possession of the substance. At the end of May, Illinois joined many other states by legalizing marijuana. While the drug will soon be considered legal, there will be a variety of restrictions and regulations in place. The following are frequently asked questions and answers to act as a comprehensive guide for Illinois residents.

When and Where Can I Buy Marijuana?

Consumers will be able to purchase cannabis for recreational use starting on January 1, 2020. The legal recreational sale process will begin solely through medical marijuana dispensaries in January 2020 but will expand to new stores, processors, cultivators, and transporters in mid-2020 as the state grants additional licenses. Illinois will allow up to 295 stores to operate by 2022; however, county and municipal governments will be allowed to decide whether to allow such businesses to operate in their designated area.

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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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Cannabis sativa is the plant that the drug marijuana is derived from. The plant’s leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds are all dried and shredded to create the drug with the psychoactive chemical, THC, that is inside. An annual survey recently found that more teenagers are actually smoking marijuana, or weed, more often than cigarettes, most likely due to the decreasing negative opinion of the drug. Although it has found to have medical benefits and very few permanent negative effects, marijuana does still alter the mind for a length of time when it is consumed and it can be dangerous.  The effects of drinking and driving are ingrained in the brains of young drivers in America through drivers’ education classes, highway and freeway billboards, parents, teachers, and sometimes even friends and siblings. What few people are taught, though, is that it is just as dangerous to drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, including marijuana. Motor coordination and judgment are seriously impaired by weed and it increases the likelihood of being in an accident by over 200 percent. Along with immediate danger in a car, smoking any substance can lead to respiratory problems in the future. Marijuana smokers have been found to have the same lung problems as tobacco smokers, such as daily cough and phlegm production, frequent and acute chest pains, and a higher risk of lung infection. Development of psychosis has also been linked to marijuana use, although genetic predisposition and the age at which one begins to smoke marijuana were also factors. Other mood problems that have arisen from the use of marijuana include suicidal thoughts, depression, and anxiety in adolescents. These people also showed signs of lack of motivation to engage in rewarding activities and personality disturbances. Marijuana use during pregnancy, like tobacco and alcohol, can affect the baby as well. Children of those marijuana users who used it during pregnancy have been found to have neurobiological problems. These problems may develop as difficulty with attention, memory, and problem solving. If you have been found with marijuana or another illegal drug, contact a criminal attorney for help today. Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC Attorneys at Law can help you with your drug court case in Naperville and Geneva, Ill. now.

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