On Jan. 1, 2020, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use — but that still doesn’t mean that you can’t end up facing charges over marijuana possession. Whether you’re a resident of the state or just visiting, it’s smart to understand how the laws governing marijuana work.
Despite marijuana’s legalization, there are still limits on what you can legally buy:
- Only adults 21 years of age and older are legally able to purchase marijuana
- You are only permitted to have a maximum of 30 grams (a little more than an ounce) of dried plant material (bud) on you at any given time
- If you have edibles, you may not have more than 500mg of THC in your possession at once
- If you use dabs or another concentrate, the maximum you are allowed at one time is 5 grams
- The drug cannot be consumed in public, and must generally be used at home or at an otherwise approved location
Non-residents who come into the state and want to purchase cannabis products are only allowed to buy half of those amounts. In addition, it’s still illegal to grow your own cannabis (unless you are a registered medical marijuana patient). Nor are you permitted to purchase cannabis from an unsanctioned vendor or dealer.
Break any of these rules, and you can still find yourself in handcuffs for marijuana. Depending on how much is found in your possession, you could be looking at either a misdemeanor or a felony charge.
Plus, if you have more in your possession than the authorities deem reasonable for personal use, you can end up facing trafficking charges — which is something to remember before you decide to “stock up.”
If you’re charged with a marijuana-related crime, don’t talk to the police until you’ve spoken to a defense attorney. That’s the best way to protect your future.