Recreational Cannabis: What You Need to Know

January 17, 2020

As of January 1, 2020, recreational cannabis is now legal in Illinois. Proponents are rejoicing, while opponents are concerned about the negative impact that legal marijuana may have. Whichever side of the issue you come down on, it’s important to note that state law has strict standards regarding marijuana usage. Just like with alcohol, you need to be aware of the rules. That way, you can safely avoid needing to call a criminal defense attorney in Rockford, IL.

Who can use recreational cannabis?

Illinois citizens 21 and up, or those with a special medical marijuana license, may possess and consume a small amount of cannabis. People with medical licenses are allowed to grow a small amount of marijuana, but recreational users may not.

Residents may purchase up to one ounce of “flower” or up to five grams of a concentrate (like hashish or tinctures), whereas visitors may purchase a half ounce, or 2.5 grams of the concentrates.

Where can I use recreational cannabis?

Even though you can legally buy and consume recreational marijuana, it doesn’t mean that you can consume it just anywhere and at any time. Here are the guidelines to responsible cannabis use under Illinois state law:

  • Use it at home: State law dictates that you can consume your recreational cannabis at a private residence (with certain caveats, covered below). Public use is forbidden, as well as smoking anywhere that is designated a smoke-free area under the Smoke Free Illinois Act.
  • Keep away from minors: It’s your responsibility to keep cannabis away from minors—so if, for example, your home is a licensed daycare facility, you will not be able to consume marijuana there.
  • Avoid negligence at work and home: State law forbids you from undertaking any task where the influence of cannabis could lead to negligence, professional misconduct or malpractice. For example, don’t consume recreational cannabis at work, just as you’d avoid drinking on the job.
  • Don’t smoke and drive: Although many people argue that marijuana is safer than alcohol, you still cannot drive under the influence of cannabis—and you can’t have it in your car, either, unless it’s in a sealed, child-resistant container, in the quantities permitted under state law.
  • Don’t buy it for ineligible citizens: Just as you can’t legally buy alcohol for minors, you also can’t give marijuana to minors or anyone else who is prohibited from consuming or possessing the substance. Being the “cool” friend or relative isn’t worth it.

Enjoy your recreational cannabis, but be sure to take the appropriate precautions to avoid legal trouble.

Criminal defense attorney in Rockford, IL

The Law Office of Brendan W. Caver, Ltd. has been serving Rockford-area clients since 2011. If you have a cannabis-related case and need skilled legal representation, Brendan Caver can help. He personally handles each detail of your case from beginning to end, and is licensed in both state and federal courts. Whether you have a simple misdemeanor or a complex federal criminal case, you’ll find the experience and tenacity you need here.

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