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DuPage County marijuana possession lawyerIllinois became the 11th state to legalize the recreational sale and use of marijuana and marijuana products Friday. This was a historic moment in United States history, as Illinois passed the bill that permits both usage and sales of recreational cannabis entirely through legislation, rather than a voter referendum. The new law significantly alters how the state will handle cannabis. It will now treat it and tax it similarly to the way the state handles alcohol. Though recreational marijuana will be legal in Illinois, there are still rules that you must follow, otherwise, you face penalties.

When and Where Can I Buy Recreational Marijuana?

Beginning in January 2020, recreational marijuana will be available for purchase by any citizen over the age of 21 at any of the 20 medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state. By mid-2020, additional licenses will be given to other recreational stores, processors and cultivators, though local governments have the power to decide whether recreational marijuana businesses operate in their area.

How Much Can I Buy/Possess?

Citizens are permitted to possess up to 30 grams of dry marijuana flower, which equates to around one ounce, or as much as can fit into an adult’s cupped hands. Citizens are also permitted to possess up to five grams of cannabis concentrate and up to 500 milligrams of THC in cannabis-infused products, such as tinctures or edibles. Visitors to Illinois are permitted to possess half of those amounts.

Where Can I Consume Marijuana?

You are permitted to consume cannabis in private residences or in some cannabis-related businesses. You are not permitted to consume cannabis if you are in a public place, including streets or parks, in a motor vehicle, on school grounds (unless you are a medical marijuana user) or around anyone who is under the age of 21.

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IL drug attorneyMany people throughout the United States use marijuana for medical purposes, recreational consumption, or both. However, even though marijuana has been legalized for medicinal or recreational use in several states, it is still considered a controlled substance in Illinois.

As marijuana laws continue to change, you might be wondering about the current laws and the penalties that could result if you are caught possessing it. Can you be arrested for possessing marijuana in Illinois? If a doctor prescribed medical marijuana for you, can you still get in legal trouble? Should you get an attorney if you are arrested on marijuana charges?

Marijuana Possession

Under Illinois law, it is illegal to possess marijuana unless it is prescribed by a licensed physician. For marijuana use not prescribed by a physician, penalties vary based on the amount possessed:

  • Ten grams or fewer – a civil law violation punishable by a $100 - $200 fine. This is a change from previous laws that made possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana a criminal offense.
  • More than 10 grams, but fewer than 30 grams – a Class B misdemeanor with up to six months in jail.
  • More than 30 grams, but fewer than 100 grams – a Class A misdemeanor with up to one year in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine. If this offense follows a previous marijuana offense, this becomes a Class 4 felony with one to three years in jail.
  • More than 100 grams, but fewer than 500 grams – a Class 4 felony with one to three years in jail and a maximum $25,000 fine. If this offense follows a previous marijuana offense, this becomes a Class 3 felony, with two to five years in jail.
  • More than 500 grams, but fewer than 2,000 grams – a Class 3 felony with two to five years in jail and a maximum $25,000 fine.
  • More than 2,000 grams, but fewer than 5,000 grams – a Class 2 felony with three to seven years in jail and a maximum $25,000 fine.
  • More than 5,000 grams – a Class 1 felony with four to 15 years in jail and a maximum $25,000 fine.

Additionally, you may face penalties such as probation for 24 months, community service, drug testing, medical or psychiatric treatment for drug addiction, and more.

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