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Recreational Marijuana and Avoiding Trouble in Illinois

 Posted on July 18, 2019 in Drug Charges

Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana use beginning January 1, 2020, but just because the drug becomes legal does not mean that you have free reign to smoke as you please when the calendar turns. There are still a number of rules and regulations that must be followed if you’re going to use recreational marijuana, and we want to highlight those laws so you don’t need to hire us to get you out of trouble. We’re obviously more than willing to help you out of a sticky situation, but we also want to promote education so you can stay out of trouble in the first place. Here’s a little bit more information about the changes coming in the new year regarding recreational marijuana use.

Recreational Marijauna FAQs

Below, we provide answers to some common questions about the upcoming legalization of marijuana use in Illinois.

  • Can I smoke anywhere? – No, just because recreational marijuana is legal does not mean that you can light up wherever you please. In fact, it is illegal to smoke in public, so if you’re caught smoking in a public place, expect a ticket. You are allowed to use recreational marijuana in private dwellings and in establishments if local jurisdictions allow it.
  • Can I grow my own marijuana? – Users who smoke marijuana recreationally will not be allowed to grow their own plants. However, if you have been medically cleared to use marijuana, you are allowed to grow up to five plants in your home.
  • Who can buy recreational weed? – Adults over the age of 21.
  • How much recreational marijuana can I buy? – Illinois residents can buy up to 30 grams of marijuana plant material, edibles totaling no more than 500 mg of THC, and five grams of cannabis concentrate products. Out of state visitors can purchase half of those amounts.
  • Can anyone sell marijuana? Only existing medical marijuana growers and dispensaries will be able to sell to adults until new cultivator licenses are approved, and the state won’t begin processing new applications until March 15, with the earliest new approvals coming on May 1, 2020.
  • Can I drive after smoking? – No. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any amount of marijuana in your system greater than 5ng/ml. If a police officer suspects that you are under the influence of marijuana, they will get a warrant for chemical testing. A blood test may be performed by a trained professional, and if it reveals that you have more than the legal amount in your system, you can face drugged driving charges. Conviction of a first offense charge for driving under the influence of drugs carries with it a one year loss of your driver’s license, a fine of up to $2,500, up to a year in jail and the completion of a DUI victim impact panel course. Drugged driving will be the biggest issue once marijuana becomes legal because there is no roadside test available like there is for drunk drivers.
  • What Happens With My Old Marijuana Arrest Charge? The change allows for people who were convicted of possession of under 30 grams of marijuana prior to legalization to ask the Prison Review Board and Governor Pritzker for a pardon. If the pardon is granted, the Illinois attorney general will move to expunge the crime from a person’s record. If you were convicted of possessing more than 30 grams, you can still petition for expungement or work with a lawyer in your area to see if your record can be expunged. We can help with this process once the law goes into effect.

This change will be new for everybody, but if you have questions leading up to the legalization of marijauna or once the law goes into effect, reach out to Brett Appelman and the team at Appelman Lawyers.

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