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Arlington Heights drug crimes defense attorney

For decades, recreational marijuana use has been illegal in most of the United States. In recent years, more states have legalized the use of recreational cannabis. Illinois became the latest state to legalize the use of marijuana for adults on May 31, 2019. This comes as a surprise to many, because Illinois is the first state to approve a recreational marijuana bill through the legislature rather than a voter referendum. This means big legal changes could be coming for people who face or have faced criminal charges relating to cannabis.

Illinois Makes History

The passing of this Illinois bill is monumental for the United States. No other state has passed laws to allow legal commercial sales of marijuana through the legislature. Vermont legislature allowed for the recreational possession of marijuana, but not sales, which were passed through a referendum. Recreational marijuana will be treated and taxed similarly to alcohol, in that only those who are over the age of 21 are permitted to purchase or use it.

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Posted on in DUI

Rolling Meadows, IL Marijuana Lawyer

Over the years, states and national organizations have focused on preventing people from drinking and driving. Multiple ad campaigns have been launched telling people “friends do not let friends drive drunk,” and “buzzed driving is drunk driving.” Still, alcohol is not the only intoxicating substance that DUI laws cover. 

In the state of Illinois, citizens are not permitted to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination of the two while they are in physical control of a motor vehicle. With the legalization of recreational marijuana in many states and the permittance of medical marijuana in a majority of states, driving under the influence of marijuana has become more prevalent.

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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:

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medical marijuana, illinois law, Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyIt has taken two years, but the state’s medical marijuana program finally got underway this month when six medical marijuana stores opened their doors. The four-year pilot program is expected to eventually have approximately 60 medical marijuana dispensaries to service the anticipated 100,000 people who will be approved. Currently, however, the state has only issued 3,300 medical marijuana cards.

There are stringent rules for medical marijuana stores under which they must operate. These establishments are required to be a minimum of 1,000 feet from any daycare centers or school zones. As a result, many of the stores are actually located in industrial parks.

Employees of the stores are referred to as "bud tenders" and they work with patients to determine which type of cannabis will be the right one for the patient’s symptoms. There are two types – indica and sativa. Indica creates a relaxing effect on its user and is a better sleep aid and pain reliever than sativa. Sativa provides more of an energetic and euphoric feeling.

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marijuana, Arlington Heights criminal law attorney, legal medical marijuana, medical marijuana, pot posession, smoking pot, alleged marijuana dealer, marijuana possession, marijuana possession arrest rate, cannabisThere are currently 22 states, along with Washington D.C., that are medical marijuana states. Another three states have pending legislation to change the law. This means that possession of marijuana, also referred to as cannabis, is allowed for medical use.

In Illinois, the law was signed by the governor in August, 2013. As of this writing, the state was still working to determine the requirements for a person to qualify. Some of the proposed rules include a fingerprint-based criminal history background check and an annual $100 application fee. The fee would be lowered to $50 for veterans and patients on Social Security Insurance and Social Security Disability Insurance.

Law enforcement agencies, in some states that have enacted medical marijuana, are struggling to determine new guidelines on how to proceed when dealing with an alleged marijuana grower. In the past, police would pull the plants from the ground and store them in evidence bags to be used at trial against the alleged marijuana dealer. However, the plants wither and die in the bags. But with the new laws in place, when charges are dropped or the accused pot grower is acquitted, many are demanding thousands of dollars in order to replace the plants that were pulled and killed.

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