How the new Illinois Marijuana Legalization laws will affect you

Beginning January 1, 2020, you will be able to possess of up to 30 grams of cannabis, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate or 500 milligrams of THC without violating Illinois state law.

Under the law you will have to purchase your cannabis from approved dispensaries.  You cannot grow it on your own unless you are a medical marijuana cardholder, and even then, you will be limited to 5 plants.  You will not be able to legally purchase marijuana from a street dealer.

You also cannot use marijuana in public places.  You will have to use it at home, and even then, discretely.  You can’t sit on your porch where neighbors can see you toking.

The change will not effect our current DUI law, which still makes it a crime to drive while either impaired due to cannabis or with 5 nanograms or more of THC in one’s blood or 10 nanograms in any other bodily substance (i.e., urine or saliva).   This means that I suggest that you do not drive for several hours after using marijuana, probably not until the next day after a full night’s sleep.

Also, the change in the law does not mean that employers cannot still fire you for failing a drug test showing that you were positive for cannabis.  Illinois is an “at will” state, meaning that an employer can fire you “at will” for just about any reason (except when in violation of civil rights or contract).

Finally, this change only affects Illinois law.  You could still be arrested and charged by Federal officers.  This is most likely to happen while on Federal property, whether a Federal building such as a courthouse, post office, or other governmental building,  on Federal land or on the lake by the Coast Guard.

Here are some articles with further information about the new law:

Chicago Sun-Timeshttps://chicago.suntimes.com/cannabis/2019/5/31/18647868/marijuana-illinois-legalization-where-to-buy-amount

Chicago Tribunehttps://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-met-cb-legal-marijuana-illinois-20190531-story.html

Attorney Explains Medical Marijuana Laws in Illinois

I am sure that many people have questions about Illinois’ new medical marijuana law. Here is a good summary by Miriam Szatrowski of Appelman & Associates.

Illinois Criminal & Civil Defense Blog

CC image Medical Marijuana by Chuck Coker on Flickr

This post was written by Miriam Szatrowski, a criminal defense attorney at Appelman & Associates.  Miriam has a wealth of experience in the criminal and civil courts, and she specializes in DUI, drug, and traffic offenses.  She has also served as an Assistant Public Defender in Kane County.  For more information about Miriam, check out her bio or give her a call at (630) 717-7801.

Last April, I wrote an article explaining the marijuana laws in Illinois. However, last week, Illinois became the 20th state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. On Thursday, August 1, Governor Pat Quinn signed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act into law. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2014, but many people still have questions about what the law really does and how it will work. I will try to answer some of those questions here.

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Governor Quinn signs Illinois Medical Marijuana bill into law

From the Chicago Tribune:

Gov. Pat Quinn today signed a bill legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes in Illinois that supporters say is the strictest in the nation…

The law takes effect Jan. 1, but state regulators are likely to need months to come up with the rules. That means it could be until next summer before those suffering from 42 illnesses including cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis can legally seek relief through marijuana.

Under the new law, a person could be prescribed no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana over two weeks. That’s enough to fill two small sandwich bags. In addition, the prescribing doctor must have a prior and ongoing medical relationship with the patient. And a doctor must find that the patient has one of a few dozen serious or chronic conditions for the marijuana to be prescribed.

Patients would have to buy the marijuana from one of 60 dispensing centers throughout the state and would not be allowed to legally grow their own. Workers at dispensing centers would undergo criminal background checks, the stores would be under round-the-clock camera surveillance and users would carry cards that indicate how much they had bought to prevent stockpiling.

Marijuana would be grown inside 22 cultivation centers registered with the state.

The state agriculture, professional regulation and public health agencies need to figure out a way to determine who gets permits to open marijuana growing centers and dispensaries and to determine rules for physicians giving out cards allowing patients to obtain the marijuana.