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Arlington Heights, IL drug charges defense attorney

Last May, the state of Illinois became the 11th state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The new law went into effect on January 1, 2020. According to dispensaries across the state, there has been more than $5.5 million worth of recreational marijuana sold since it has been legal. Even though recreational cannabis has been legalized in Illinois, there are still certain laws that apply to marijuana usage. If these laws are broken -- even unintentionally -- you could face legal consequences. Here are a few things you should keep in mind about recreational marijuana usage in Illinois:

  1. You Can Only Possess Certain Amounts of Pot at Any Given Time

As long as you are over the age of 21, you can legally purchase and possess certain amounts of marijuana and cannabis-infused products. At any given time, you can legally possess up to one ounce or up to 30 grams of dry marijuana flower, up to 500mg of THC contained in edibles or other cannabis-infused products, and up to five grams of cannabis concentrate. Visitors to Illinois are permitted to possess half of those amounts.

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IL defense lawyerA new bill that was signed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner will amend the Illinois Controlled Substance Act to include more synthetic forms of marijuana, also known as synthetic cannabinoids. Senate Bill 2341, which was sponsored by Senator Jacqueline Collins, was created to hopefully severely limit the availability of these kinds of drugs, many of which have unknown side effects and some of which are known to be deadly. Manufacturers and those in possession of synthetic cannabinoids will be affected by this bill.

Bill Closes a Loophole in Law

Prior to this bill, there were many synthetic cannabinoids that were already illegal, but manufacturers could easily get around the law by making an insignificant change in the drug’s chemical structures. By making small changes, manufacturers could still sell the synthetic cannabinoid substances and avoid criminal charges because the new chemical structure was not illegal yet. The revised Controlled Substance Act provides that all synthetic cannabinoids are now illegal if they are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or if they are misused.

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