The world has changed in Illinois and throughout the country concerning the legality of marijuana. Beginning in January of 2020, individuals who are at least 21 can possess and use recreational marijuana in Illinois. But there are restrictions.
Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act
The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act radically restricted the scope of drug crimes in Illinois. Anyone who is at least 21 can buy marijuana products from a licensed dealer in the state.
However, there are restrictions on the amount of marijuana that individuals may possess. Illinois residents are limited to these amounts:
- 30 grams of cannabis flower.
- Five grams of cannabis concentrate.
- 500 milligrams of THC in a product that is infused with cannabis, (edibles, for example).
Nonresidents are limited to half of the amounts that state residents may legally possess.
Selling and growing
Marijuana sales are restricted to state-licensed sellers. The law still prohibits everyone else from selling marijuana. Licensed medical marijuana dispensers were the first licensed sellers of recreational marijuana in Illinois.
It is also illegal to grow marijuana plants unless you are a medical marijuana patient. Growing is limited to five plants.
You are allowed to smoke in your private residence. However, landlords may prohibit marijuana use on their property and Illinois colleges can ban marijuana use on their campuses and in their dormitories.
Employers are permitted to enforce zero-tolerance or drug-free workplaces. They may also have policies covering drug testing, smoking, or possessing marijuana products at work.
It is illegal to smoke at these locations:
- Public places.
- In a vehicle.
- Near a person under 21.
- On school grounds.
- Any location where smoking is prohibited by the Smoke Free Illinois Act.
This law also has new ways to expunge, or remove, marijuana-related criminal records.
Anyone who was arrested but not convicted for possessing up to 30 grams of marijuana before this law took effect will have their arrest record automatically expunged.
The records of a person convicted for possessing up to 30 grams of marijuana before this law may seek a pardon from the Governor. If the Governor grants the pardon, the Attorney General will seek expungement for the conviction.
Individuals convicted of possessing between 30 and 500 grams of marijuana may ask a court to vacate and expunge their conviction. Granting this motion has the effect of the conviction never happening.
An attorney can assist with expungement. They can also help anyone arrested for drug crimes to protect their rights.