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Joliet marijuana charges attorney While Illinois legalized medical marijuana in 2013, the possession and sale of cannabis by non-registered users remains illegal. These drug charges can have a serious impact on your life, including your employability, your ability to secure loans, and child custody arrangements. Felony charges also carry mandatory minimum sentencing and heavy fines.

Cannabis Possession in Illinois

Like many states, the penalties for simple possession of marijuana have lessened in Illinois in recent years. If you are caught by law enforcement with 10 grams (.35 ounces) or less, it is a civil violation with a maximum fine of $200. Possession of 10 to 30 grams as a first offense is a misdemeanor charge, which can be punished by up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines. Possession of any amount greater than 30 grams (1.06 ounces) constitutes a felony in Illinois. Penalties range from one to six years of incarceration for 30 to 500 grams (1.1 pounds), to four to 30 years for more than 5,000 grams (11 pounds). Felony possession fines cap at $25,000.

Marijuana Trafficking in Illinois

Consequences escalate for the sale of cannabis. Selling up to 10 grams is considered a misdemeanor, punishable up to a year and jail and $2,500 in fines. The sale of any quantity above 10 grams is a felony. Penalties range from one to six years of incarceration and $25,000 in fines for 10 to 30 grams to between 6 and 60 years and $200,000 in fines for more than 5,000 grams. These penalties increase for any sale on school grounds. Also, the transport of 2,500 grams or more into Illinois doubles the established mandatory minimum sentence.


medical marijuana, ptsd, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyIllinois Governor Bruce Rauner recently rejected a measure that would have added post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD to the list of those which qualify patients to participate in the state's medical marijuana program. The Illinois Department of Public Health, under Rauner's control, separately announced it would not be expanding the program to include ten other conditions, including osteoarthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic post-surgical pain. The decisions come despite the recommendation of the state's Medical Cannabis Review Board to include the additional ailments.

Pilot Program Barely Underway

According to the governor's written statement, Rauner is hesitant to add anything or expand the medical marijuana program in any way until it actually gets started. Although the law creating the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program went into effect on January 1, 2014, not a single patient has been able to obtain medical marijuana legally in the state. Months of lawsuits, bureaucratic red tape, and licensing delays, have led to nearly two years of waiting as legal production of marijuana finally began earlier this summer. The first crops are expected to be ready for dispensaries sometime this fall or early next year.


Medical Marijuana Can Still Lead to DUI Charges

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DUI, medical marijuana, Will County DUI Defense LawyerIn January 2014, Illinois became one of 20 states in which the medical use of marijuana or cannabis was decriminalized. Under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, signed by then-Governor Pat Quinn in August 2013, registered users are permitted to purchase marijuana from a “dispensing organization” to treat symptoms related to a “debilitating medical condition.”  In addition, however, the act also spells out some very important details over a registered user's operation of a motor vehicle and possible DUI scenarios.

Trace Law

Under previous Illinois law, drivers operating a vehicle with any amount of a controlled substance, including cannabis, in their system were subject to prosecution for DUI. With the passage of the medical marijuana law, the zero-tolerance policy has been eased regarding cannabis for drivers who possess a valid registry card. Law enforcement officer are required to establish the driver's impairment before proceeding to arrest a driver on suspicion of DUI.

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