Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Laws - What Every Patient Should Know

 Posted on February 10,2017 in Drug Crimes

Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyerAlthough the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not acknowledge marijuana as a prescription drug, there are currently 28 states with medical marijuana laws in place. Illinois is one of those states. Yet users should know legalization does not mean free reign. There are still regulations, stipulations, and limitations that must be followed, and any failure to do so can result in serious consequences. The following explains further.

Approved Conditions

Passed in 2013, and put into effect in 2014, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Act currently includes 40 chronic diseases and conditions. Though not an exhaustive list, some of the most commonly covered conditions include:

  • Cancer,
  • HIV,
  • Glaucoma,
  • Hepatitis C,
  • Tourette syndrome,
  • Muscular dystrophy,
  • Spinal cord disease/injury,
  • Traumatic brain injury,
  • Crohn’s disease,
  • Severe fibromyalgia, and
  • Parkinson’s disease.

Patients and/or their caregivers must be registered to receive the protection offered by the law. This includes any protection from arrest, prosecution, and/or denial of their rights or privileges. Protection does not extend to those who use, transport, or purchase medical marijuana using an out-of-state registration card.

Possession and Transportation Laws

When transporting medicinal marijuana, either for yourself or for a patient under your care, the drug must be kept in a tamper-proof container, and it must be kept in a place that is inaccessible while the vehicle is in use. Failure to adhere to these laws can result in criminal charges, a loss of driving privileges, and possibly even a revocation of one’s medical cannabis card. Further, no one may be in possession of more than 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis over the course of 14 days - not even those who are using or transporting for medicinal use. Cultivation is explicitly prohibited, as is any purchase from an out-of-state source or dispensary.

Driving Under the Influence

Just as it is illegal to drive while under the influence of certain prescription drugs (i.e. painkillers, opiates, sleeping pills, etc.), one cannot drive while under the influence of marijuana. This is because marijuana can slow the reflexes, which increases the risk of a crash. Suspicion of intoxication can result in the administration of a field sobriety test, chemical testing, and criminal charges that may result in a suspension of your licenses and/or a revocation of your medical marijuana registration card.

Protecting Your Rights

The purpose of the Compassionate Use Act is to ensure patients are not wrongfully accused of illegal activity. Unfortunately, many do end up facing criminal charges for honest mistakes. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, fights for the rights of medical marijuana patients. Let our Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer work toward the most favorable solution in your case. Call 847-253-3400 and schedule your consultation with us today.



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