As of today, there are 33 states which have legalized the medicinal use of cannabis while 10 states allow recreational use. Since marijuana was legalized in Illinois in 2013, there are currently more than 54,500 qualifying patients in the state's medical marijuana program and retail sales have resulted in $272 million spanning 55 dispensaries.
Qualifying conditions for the medical cannabis program in Illinois include some of the following:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Parkinson's disease
- Crohn's disease
- Tourette syndrome
In July 2016, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed SB 2228, which significantly decriminalized possession of cannabis. Now, possession of fewer than 100 grams of cannabis is considered a misdemeanor offense.
The following is a breakdown of the current penalties for unlawful marijuana possession:
- 10 grams or less – Unlawful possession of up to ten grams of marijuana is punishable by a maximum $200 fine. Before this law went into effect, possession of 2.5 grams or less is a Class C misdemeanor that carries a jail sentence not exceeding 30 days and a fine no larger than $1,500, while possession of up to 10 grams is a Class B misdemeanor that results in a maximum 180-day jail term and a fine of up to $1,500.
- Between 10 and 30 grams – Unlawful possession within this weight range is a Class B misdemeanor. Previously, this was considered a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum 364-day jail sentence and a fine of up to $2,500.
- Between 30 and 100 grams – Unlawful possession within this weight range is a Class A misdemeanor. Before, unlawful possession between 30 and 500 grams is a Class 4 felony, which results in imprisonment for up to three years and a fine not exceeding $25,000.
- Between 100 and 500 grams – Unlawful possession within this weight range is a Class 4 felony.
- Between 500 and 2,000 grams – Unlawful possession within this weight range is a Class 3 felony, which carries up to five years imprisonment and a fine no larger than $25,000.
- Between more than 2,000 and 5,000 grams – Unlawful possession within this weight range is a Class 2 felony, which results in up to seven years imprisonment and a maximum $25,000 fine.
- More than 5,000 grams – Unlawful possession within this weight range is a Class 1 felony, punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and a maximum $25,000 fine.
However, punishment for delivering or selling marijuana is harsher. If you are caught selling or attempting to sell over 10 grams of marijuana, it is a felony offense. The exact punishment depends on the amount.
If you have been arrested for possessing cannabis in Illinois, contact our Chicago criminal defense lawyer at Ahmad Law today and schedule a free consultation.