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IL defense lawyerWhen Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill in June of 2019, to make marijuana legal, Illinois became the eleventh state in the United States to legalize recreational marijuana use. The new law officially came into effect on January 1, 2020. Last week, thousands of Illinoisans flocked to cannabis stores to legally purchase marijuana for the first time in Illinois. When some people hear the word legal, they immediately think that means no limits. In all reality, Illinois’ new law comes with a number of restrictions and guidelines. If you are facing drug charges, it is time to speak with a skilled legal professional.

Restrictions to the Marijuana Law

First and foremost, while Illinois’ new marijuana law legalizes recreational marijuana use, it does not legalize it for everyone. Much like with the consumption of alcohol, minors under the age of 21 caught using marijuana will likely face criminal charges. It is also important to note that legal does not mean anywhere. You are legally allowed to smoke marijuana in a private residence or in an established smoke area (in a private establishment). Any private business owner can prohibit the use of marijuana on their property. Marijuana use is also prohibited in motor vehicles, in public parks, and in the presence of a minor.

The legalization of marijuana also comes with restrictions on the amount of marijuana one can possess. If you have more than 30 grams of marijuana at one time, you are breaking the law. A person with upwards of 30 grams of marijuana draws suspicion regarding their intent with the substance, and will prompt police to ask if they are attempting to distribute. It is also illegal for recreational marijuana users to grow a marijuana plant in their residence, although it is legal for registered medicinal users. While the new Illinois marijuana law may make you think that marijuana is legal without restrictions, this could not be further from the truth. Educate yourself on the rules of the law, and help yourself avoid serious legal ramifications.

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IL defense attorneyHere in the state of Illinois, severity of drug possession charges can depend on a number of criteria. Much like in many other states, the severity of potential criminal charges will mostly depend on the amount of narcotics and the type of substance. Recognizing the fact that Illinois is facing major issues involving drug use and drug-related fatalities, the state decided to establish the Illinois Controlled Substances Act designed to criminalize possession and intent to distribute certain controlled substances. Below we will discuss how a drug possession charge can impact you, and how you should react if you have been charged with drug possession.

Drug Possession in Illinois

A lot has changed in the past year, as it pertains to drug possession law in the state of Illinois. The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act will go into effect in January, changing how law enforcement officials will regulate the recreational use of marijuana. With the passing of the new law, a person will now be able to legally possess up to 30 grams of marijuana. If a person is apprehended with anywhere from 30 to 100 grams, they will face misdemeanor charges, up to one year in prison, and fines as high as $2,500.

While the perception and legality about marijuana have changed statewide, the view on other drugs has not. Possession of substances such as heroin, cocaine, and morphine will result in felony charges. If convicted, the person charged could face an incredible $200,000 in fines. If a person is apprehended with upwards of 15 grams of these substances, they could spend anywhere from four to 15 years in prison. Recovering from a drug charge on your permanent record, and crippling fines can be a tall order for any person. Fortunately, a quality legal professional may be able to help you avoid a conviction altogether.

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