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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700

Marijuana Charges in Illinois

Posted on in Drug Crimes

IL defense lawyerThere is quite a lot of misinformation making the rounds regarding marijuana possession in Illinois. Medical marijuana is legal for certain specific conditions, and possession of small amounts has been decriminalized. However, possession of large amounts, as well as distribution or intent to distribute, are still very much criminal offenses, and if you are charged with one of these crimes, it can create significant problems for you.

Drug Possession Charges

Illinois’ Cannabis Control Act, though modified in 2016 to accommodate the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (granting medical marijuana options to qualifying patients with significantly severe medical conditions), still allows stiff sentences for those caught with high enough amounts of marijuana or any of its derivatives. The general public policy of the state of Illinois is still to hold cannabis as a largely dangerous drug, and to that end, possession of large amounts is policed because of the deleterious potential harm to society as a whole.

Being caught with anything under 10 grams of cannabis is a civil violation, punishable by a fine, but amounts over 10 grams can result in anything from a Class B misdemeanor and 6 months in jail, to a Class 1 felony and 4-15 years in prison. The more one is caught with, the more likely intent to distribute is to be assumed. However, possession is more likely than delivery to be treated somewhat leniently as a first offense, so if you have never been in trouble before, it may be marginally more possible to work out a deal.

Drug Delivery Charges

If you are caught with enough marijuana, the rebuttable presumption in Illinois criminal law is that you have intent to deliver. Delivery and distribution charges are far more serious than possession because, by definition, delivery implies that not only the holder of a dangerous drug will be affected by it - in other words, it is not a victimless crime. If one examines the sentencing guidelines for distribution versus possession, you will see that as little as 2.5 grams may be enough to trigger criminal charges in regard to distribution.

Be advised that cultivation and manufacture of cannabis (and its related offshoots) are also covered under this area of the law. Unless the person who is growing the crop is associated with a cultivation center that produces medical cannabis in conjunction with the Compassionate Use pilot program, manufacture of cannabis or cannabis-based products is a Class 2 felony, and the punishment can be quite severe. Unlike possession charges, deals are less likely to be made with the court in terms of first offenses or lesser charges, simply because delivery and distribution require arguably more malicious intent. This may not be the case, but to disprove such a presumption, you will generally be forced to go to trial.

Call Our DuPage County Marijuana Attorneys

Whether through a mistake or deliberate action, marijuana possession or distribution can still be seen as very serious crimes in Illinois, and a knowledgeable attorney can be of great help in overcoming any such charges on your record. The talented DuPage County drug defense attorneys at the office of Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. may be able to assist you in setting the record straight. Contact our office today to set up an initial consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3503

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005500K5

 

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