Many 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?
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....