Many people may be happy to hear about the impending legalization of marijuana in Illinois. They may not realize, though, that marijuana will not officially be legal until January 2020.
The Illinois legislature has steadily made steps to legalize marijuana. According to the Chicago Tribune, since 2016 people have been subject to a civil fine if they have 10 grams or less of this substance. Additionally, some state attorneys plan to aid people in the expungement of their records. The new bill proposed by legislators allows people to have up to 30 grams of marijuana if they purchase the substance from a licensed store or grower. The bill also permits the commercial sale of cannabis and allows people to remove certain cannabis convictions from their record.
However, it is important to remember that this bill will not legalize commercial marijuana sales until the beginning of next year. Until January 2020, the current state law is still in effect. This means that people are breaking the law if they purchase marijuana from a store which is not a licensed dispensary. Buying this substance without a medical marijuana card is also against the current state law. Until the new bill goes into effect, marijuana advocates and members of law enforcement say they want to help the public understand the new law, as well as help them understand the current law. One state attorney says that while law enforcement officers have to enforce the current marijuana laws, prosecutors are more concerned with people who are illegally dealing marijuana.
Under the current cannabis laws, possessing marijuana is either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount a person has. FindLaw says that a person who has between 500 and 2,000 grams of this substance might be charged with a Class 4 felony, while someone may face Class A misdemeanor charges if he or she has between 30 and 500 grams of marijuana. Selling this substance is also currently considered a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the amount a person sells.