Can I Still Face Drug Charges for Marijuana Possession in Illinois?
January 1, 2020, was a landmark day in Illinois since it marked the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in the state. Currently, marijuana is treated much like alcohol, in that adults over the age of 21 are allowed to possess and use certain amounts of the drug, but they are prohibited from driving while intoxicated. However, even though marijuana has been legalized, people should still be aware that violations of the state’s laws could lead to charges of drug possession or other criminal offenses.
Potential Marijuana-Related Charges in Illinois
Currently, Illinois residents over the age of 21 are allowed to possess up to 30 grams of raw cannabis, up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrates, or cannabis-infused products with up to 500 milligrams of THC. Non-Illinois residents can possess half of these amounts. Authorized medical marijuana users may possess up to 2.5 ounces of raw cannabis or products containing cannabis during a 14-day period. Cannabis and products containing cannabis must be purchased from a licensed dispensary. When transported in a vehicle, marijuana must be kept in a sealed container.
Possession or use of marijuana that falls outside of these legally allowed uses may lead to criminal charges, including:
Marijuana possession - Possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor. Possession of more than 100 grams or a second conviction for illegal marijuana possession will result in felony charges.
Marijuana manufacturing or delivery - Marijuana and marijuana products can only be grown, manufactured, packaged, or sold by those who have obtained the proper licenses from the state of Illinois. Authorized medical marijuana users are allowed to grow up to five marijuana plants. Manufacturing or delivering (selling) up to 10 grams of marijuana without a license is a misdemeanor, and felony charges will apply for amounts higher than 10 grams. The unauthorized growing of five or fewer marijuana plants is a civil offense that can result in a $100-200 fine, while growing more than five plants is a felony.
Underage marijuana possession - A minor under the age of 21 who is in possession of marijuana will face a civil fine of $100-200. Parents or guardians who allow a minor to use marijuana in their home or vehicle may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
Marijuana DUI - A person may be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if a chemical test shows that he or she was operating a vehicle with a THC concentration of 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms per milliliter of another bodily substance, such as saliva or urine.
Driving with an open container of marijuana - Use of cannabis in a vehicle while it is on the road or transporting cannabis in a vehicle in something other than a sealed, odor-proof, child-resistant container is a Class A misdemeanor.
Contact a Wheaton Drug Charges Defense Lawyer
Even though most forms of marijuana use are legal in Illinois, you could potentially face criminal charges, even if you inadvertently violated one of the state’s laws. If you have been arrested and charged with drug crimes based on the illegal possession or use of marijuana, you will want to work with a skilled lawyer to determine your best options for defense. At the Davi Law Group, LLC, our accomplished DuPage County criminal defense attorneys will provide the legal help you need, and we will work to ensure that you can minimize the consequences that you may face. Contact us today at 630-580-6873 to arrange a complimentary consultation.