For some Illinois residents, the change in law that made recreational use of cannabis legal in the state was cause for celebration. For many years, proponents of the recreational use have argued that it is no more dangerous than alcohol consumption — and possibly less so — and that criminal charges for use, possession or growth of marijuana were unjust. Of course, even though the laws have changed, it does not mean that there is a free-for-all when it comes to cannabis.
Though state law prevails when it comes to general use of the substance, private properties and entities can still enact separate rules for cannabis use. For instance, landlords can prevent marijuana possession and use on their property, and businesses can do the same. As a result, your employer could still fire you if they discover you using or possessing the substance on the premises or if a drug test shows recent use. Additionally, the laws have not changed when it comes to driving while high.
Arrests for driving after cannabis use
Much like the laws that apply to consuming alcohol and driving, you can still face criminal charges if an officer has probable cause to arrest you for driving while high. Of course, the accuracy of tests for determining impairment from marijuana use leaves much to be desired. So, it is important to remember that, even if an officer suspects you of driving under the influence of marijuana, you likely have various options for defending against those allegations.
Additionally, even if you do not believe you are impaired, the law also prohibits the use of cannabis inside a vehicle under any circumstances. The law allows for the transportation of the substance inside a vehicle, but it must remain in a sealed container. Limits also exist for the amount of cannabis that you can have in your possession at one time. This means that, if an officer conducts a search of your vehicle and finds more than the allowed amount, you could face charges.
Defending against allegations
At this time, cannabis-related laws and police procedures relating to the substance remain in flux. While many suspect that the views toward marijuana will move in a positive direction for its users, it is still important to fully understand what is legal and illegal before growing, possessing or using cannabis.