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What do new marijuana laws in Illinois mean for you?

Accusations of any type of criminal activity can be detrimental to your future and reputation. Even a misdemeanor can impact your life in various ways if convicted, and you may find yourself in a position where you need to defend yourself against formal charges. It is helpful to understand what you are up against and how you can develop the most effective and strongest defense strategy possible for your individual situation.

In 2020, Illinois changed its laws regarding cannabis and the recreational use of marijuana. If you use marijuana recreationally, it is in your interests to understand these laws in detail as a misunderstanding could lead to legal complications. Marijuana legalization was a legal victory for many, but there are still strict regulations and rules regarding its use and purchase.

What you should know

Illinois was the 11th state to legalize the recreational use marijuana for adults. For over a year, adults have been able to purchase the drug from licensed and approved sellers throughout the state. The following facts may help you gain a better understanding of what the legalization and other changes could mean for you:

  • In order to legally purchase marijuana, a person must be 21 or older. A medical marijuana card is not required.
  • You can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, five grams of cannabis concentrate and cannabis-infused products with up to 500 milligrams of THC.
  • Visitors to the state can legally possess up to half of those amounts.
  • It is legal to smoke marijuana in certain approved locations and within one’s own home.
  • It is against the law to use marijuana in public places, in a vehicle, on government property and more.
  • It is illegal to use marijuana near someone who is under the age of 21 or near someone who is an on-duty law enforcement officer or emergency services provider.

Misunderstanding the law or being unaware of what the law says about marijuana use can still lead to serious criminal charges. Criminal or malicious intent is not a requirement to charge an individual with drug possession or other drug-related charges. If you find yourself charged with this type of offense, it is in your interests to explore the specific defense options available to you after an arrest and determine what may be in your best interests.