Illinois Marijuana Laws

Although Illinois has harsh marijuana laws, the state has given officers in certain cities, including Chicago, the option to cite offenders caught with possession of small amounts with nothing more than a fine.  Residents of the Prairie State should still be aware of the paraphernalia laws in order to avoid any type of citation.

Illinois Marijuana Attorneys

The following Illinois lawyers are actively involved in the practice of cannabis law:

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LAW BREAKDOWN

Illinois has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis, but all other possession, distribution, sale, or cultivation of marijuana is a crime unless it’s part of the state’s regulated medical marijuana system. Hash and concentrates are also illegal, as is cannabis paraphernalia.

Possession

Illinois’ decriminalization measure means that possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana is a civil voilation, punishable by a maximum $200 fine.

Possessing between 10 and 30 grams is a misdemeanor on a first offense; the maximum penalty is one year in jail and $2,500 in fines. Subsequent offenses are felonies, punishable by between one and six years in prison, and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Possession of amounts greater than 30 grams is a felony. If the amount is between 30 and 500 grams, the minimum penalty is one year in jail while the maximum is six years in prison, plus $25,000 in fines. The potential prison term increases to between two and ten years on a subsequent offense.

If the amount is between 500 and 2,000 grams, the penalty is between two and ten years in prison plus a top fine of $25,000. If the amount is greater than 2,000 grams and less than 5,000 grams, the mandatory minimum sentence is three years in prison while the maximum is 14, along with fines of up to $25,000.

Finally, possession of any amount of marijuana greater than 5,000 pounds is punishable by at least four and as many as 30 years in prison, along with a maximum $25,000 fine.

Sale and Trafficking

Sale or trafficking of any amount of cannabis is a crime. If the amount is less than 10 grams, the offense if a misdemeanor; if the amount is greater, the offense is a felony.

Selling or transporting 2.5 grams or less carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and $1,500 in fines, while selling or transporting between 2.5 and 10 grams carries a top sentence of one year in jail and fines of $2,500.

Sale or trafficking of between 10 and 30 grams is punishable by at least one year in jail and as many as six years in prison, along with a $25,000 maximum fine. If the amount is between 30 and 500 grams, meanwhile, the penalty ranges from two to ten years in prison plus $50,000 in fines.

If the amount is between 500 and 2,000 grams, the mandatory minimum punishment is three to 14 years in prison and fines of up to $100,000 are possible. The penalty for an amount between 2,000 and 5,000 grams is a minimum of four years in prison and a maximum of 30, as well as a potential $150,000 fine.

Sale or trafficking of any amount of cannabis greater than 5,000 carries a minimum penalty of six years in prison and a maximum of 60, plus a $200,000 maximum fine.

Cultivation

Growing five or fewer marijuana plants is a misdemeanor in Illinois, punishable by up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines. Growing between five and 20 plants is a felony that carries a penalty of at least one year in jail and as many as six years in prison, together with a maximum fine of $25,000.

If the number of plants is between 20 and 50, cultivation is punishable by between two and ten years in prison, plus a top $25,000 fine. If the number of plants is between 50 and 200, the penalty increases to between three and 14 years in prison and $100,000 in fines. Finally, cultivating more than 200 plants carries a sentence of between four and 30 years in prison, plus $100,000 in fines.

Hash and Concentrates

Concentrated marijuana, including hashish, is treated the same as other cannabis in Illinois. Possession, sale, trafficking, and manufacture of concentrates are all crimes.

Paraphernalia

It is a misdemeanor to possess any kind of drug paraphernalia unless it is intended for use with legal substances. Marijuana paraphernalia includes any items designed for use with the cultivation, growing, harvesting, analysis, storage, concealment, or use of marijuana.

Possession and use. Possession of paraphernalia is a class A misdemeanor, and the penalties include up to one year imprisonment, and between $750 and $2,500 in fines.

Sale and distribution.  Sale of paraphernalia is a class 4 felony punishable by between one year in jail and six years in prison, along with a minimum $1,000 fine for each item sold, up to a maximum of $25,000.

Sale to a minor. Sale of cannabis paraphernalia to a minor is a class 3 felony, and carries a minimum penalty of two years in prison and a maximum of ten, as well as between $1,000 and $25,000 in fines.

Sale of paraphernalia to a pregnant woman is punishable by between three and 14 years in prison, and $25,000 in fines.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Illinois’ medical marijuana legislation was signed into law in Aug, 2013, but the program is not yet operational. Certain cultivators have been given the go-ahead, so it won’t be that long until medical marijuana is available to qualifying patients across the state. The “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act” protects registered patients from “arrest, prosecution, or denial or any right or privilege.”

Qualifying conditions – Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Arnold Chiari malformation, Cachexia, Cancer, Causalgia, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, Complex regional pain syndrome type 2, Crohn’s Disease, Dystonia, Fibromyalgia, Fibrous dysplasia, Glaucoma, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, Hydrocephalus, Hydromyelia, Interstitial Cystitis, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Myasthenia Gravis, Myoclonus, Nail patella syndrome, Neurofibromatosis, Parkinson’s disease Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, Spinal chord disease, Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA), Syringomyelia, Tarlov cysts, Tourette’s syndrome, Traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome

Patient possession limits – Two and a half ounces of marijuana in a 14-day period

Home cultivation – No

State-licensed dispensaries – Yes

Caregivers – Yes. Caregivers, who may only serve one qualifying patient at a time, are allowed to pick up medicine for ill, homebound patients, and are subject to the same possession limits.

Reciprocity – No

Contact information – Illinois Department of Public Health

PENALTIES

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine

Possession

10 g or less Civil Violation None $ 200
More than 10 – 30 g (first offense) Misdemeanor 1 year $ 2,500
More than 10 – 30 g (subsequent offense) Felony 1* – 6 years $ 25,000
More than 30 – 500 g (first offense) Felony 1* – 6 years $ 25,000
More than 30 – 500 g (subsequent offense) Felony 2* – 10 years $ 25,000
More than 500 – 2000 g Felony 2* – 10 years $ 25,000
More than 2000 – 5000 g Felony 3* – 14 years $ 25,000
More than 5000 g Felony 4* – 30 years $ 25,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Sale or Trafficking

2.5 g or less Misdemeanor 6 months $ 1,500
More than 2.5 – 10 g Misdemeanor 1 year $ 2,500
More than 10 – 30 g Felony 1* – 6 years $ 25,000
More than 30 – 500 g Felony 2* – 10 years $ 50,000
More than 500 – 2000 g Felony 3* – 14 years $ 100,000
More than 2000 – 5000 g Felony 4* – 30 years $ 150,000
More than 5000 g Felony 6* – 60 years $ 200,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence
Delivery on school grounds carries increased incarceration and fines
Bringing 2500 grams or more of marijuana into the State of Illinois is trafficking and brings a mandatory minimum sentence of twice the minimum sentence as sale of marijuana.

Cultivation

5 plants or less Misdemeanor 1 year $ 2,500
More than 5 – 20 plants Felony 1* – 6 years $ 25,000
More than 20 – 50 plants Felony 2* – 10 years $ 25,000
More than 50 – 200 plants Felony 3* – 14 years $ 100,000
More than 200 plants Felony 4* – 30 years $ 100,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Hash & Concentrates

Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.

Paraphernalia

Possession of paraphernalia with more than 10 g of marijuana Misdemeanor 1 year $ 2,500
Sale of paraphernalia Felony 1* – 6 years $ 25,000
Sale to a minor Felony 2* – 10 years $ 25,000
Sale to a pregnant woman Felony 3* – 14 years $ 25,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Miscellaneous

Civil Asset Forfeiture – Property is subject to forfeiture.