Is Cannabis Really as Legal Now as You Think? Five Things to Know About the “Legalization” of Marijuana in Illinois

At the turn of the year, Illinois officially joined eleven other states in the legalization of recreational marijuana. On the first day of this legalization, the state reported cannabis sales of over $3.2 million across the state. This number reached nearly $40 million by the end of the first month.

While cannabis is now legal and available for purchase throughout the state, these new laws do not come without parameters, and if these parameters are crossed, you could still be held to legal consequences. There are five essential facts to know about the legalization of marijuana in Illinois.

Age and Possession Regulations

Like most recreational opportunities, there are limits on who can purchase marijuana and how much they can possess at one time. Like drinking, a person must be 21-years-old or older if they want to legally purchase and consume marijuana in any form.

In addition, there are limits on how much a person can possess at one time. Below are the legal limits for each form of the substance:

Weed: 30 Grams
Cannabis Concentrate: 5 grams
THC in Edibles: 500 milligrams

Please note, that visitors to Illinois, or anyone without a registered Illinois license or ID, are only legally allowed to possess half of each amount listed above.

It’s Not Legal Everywhere

It is important to note that if you plan on smoking or consuming marijuana, it is expected to be done in the privacy of one’s own home, or on-site at a cannabis-related business. Like alcohol, this is not an activity permitted at any public place, in a motor vehicle, or in the presence of some who is under the age of 21. In addition, any Landlord has the right to prohibit it on their property if they see fit.

It is Illegal to Drive Under the Influence of It

Anyone operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana can be charged with a DUI. Even before the legalization of Marijuana in the state, Illinois State Law considered any driver with a blood THC concentration of five nanograms or more per millimeter guilty by law.

You Are Not Allowed to Grow It At Home

With the exception of medical marijuana patients, it is illegal for residents to grow marijuana at home. This offense could result in a civil penalty.

Currently, Illinois has 20 medical cultivation facilities operating and licensed to grow. Over the year, the state plans to license and welcome “craft-growers” to the market.

You May Now Be Pardoned for Past Marijuana Charges

In addition to the new legalization, people who were prosecuted in the past for possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana, could have the charge pardoned, only if the conviction was not associated with a violent crime. Following this pardon, the Illinois Attorney General will seek expungement.

Those charged in the past for a higher possession charge (between 30 and 500 grams), can also petition for expungement on a case-by-case basis, however, they must petition themselves or with the assistance of a local state’s attorney.

If you are in legal trouble, or you have a past marijuana charge that you want to seek pardon from, contact Russo Law today. Our attorneys are familiarized with the new laws and have the expertise to provide exceptional representation for you every step of the way.

While the information contained herein is believed relevant and accurate at the time it was authored, it should not be considered legal advice and may 
not be relied upon until after a complete consultation and evaluation of your specific situation and until if and when a written attorney engagement agreement is executed and accepted by the Russo Law Offices; A written engagement is required before any opinions or advice will be given and/or can be relied upon.
All information contained herein is the exclusive property of and is subject to copy rights by the author and/or Russo Law Offices; The information contained herein shall not be reproduced, used or disseminated in any way without the express written permission of the author and Russo Law Offices.
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