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IL defense lawyerContrary to popular belief, it will not be a free-for-all beginning the first of the year when marijuana for recreational use becomes legal in Illinois. There are still certain regulations that will need to be followed. One part of the Illinois drug law that will not change in 2020 is that no one is permitted to grow cannabis plants in their home. The only exception to that rule is medical marijuana users; they will need a doctor’s note to do so (up to five plants).

Anyone caught growing cannabis without a doctor’s permission will face a drug charge and be fined $200. Instead of growing it, Illinois residents will be able to purchase the drug from any one of 20 cultivation facilities that have already been licensed to sell marijuana.

What Does the Law Currently Say?

There are still several months before marijuana becomes legal in Illinois. Until that time, residents should abide by the drug law or face felony punishments if caught possessing any illegal substance.

Right now, it is unlawful for anyone to possess marijuana and punishments become more severe with higher amounts of drugs.

  • Less than 2.5 grams: Up to 30 days in jail and/or $1,500 fine
  • 2.5-10 grams: Up to six months in jail and/or $1,500 fine
  • 10-30 grams: First offenders will face one year in jail and/or $2,500 fines while second offenders will be charged with a Class 4 felony with punishments of 1-3 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines
  • 30-500 grams: First offenders will face Class 4 felony punishments while second offenders face Class 3 felony punishments of 2-5 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines
  • 500-2,000 grams: Class 3 felony punishments
  • 2,000-5,000 grams: Class 2 felony punishments of 3-7 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines
  • Over 5,000 grams: Class 1 felony punishments of 4-15 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines

The Illinois drug law also covers false prescription violations, drug paraphernalia possession, and possession of hard drugs such as cocaine or heroin.

Once these types of convictions go on your record, they will affect the course of your life. It could tarnish your ability to get into a college you want to go to, what kind of job you want to have, and even what house you want to purchase.

The “lucky” few that can have their records expunged next year are those who were convicted of having 30 or less grams of marijuana in their possession.

Contact an Elgin, IL Drug Possession Attorney

There are several defense strategies that can help someone avoid a drug charge on their record. The lawyers from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help build a defense and defend you from a negative conviction. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County drug crimes lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.iwu.edu/counseling/Illinois_Drug_Laws.htm

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-state-lawmakers-introduce-pass-85-billion-in-spending-in-12-hours-2/

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paraphernalia, Kane County drug crimes defense attorneyBy now, you probably know that low-level possession of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense in Illinois. The possession of less than 10 grams is a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $200—similar in most regards to a traffic violation. Illinois, however, has maintained its statute regarding the possession of drug paraphernalia. While the law was amended to account for the new guidelines on marijuana possession, loopholes still exist that could land a person in serious trouble.

What the Law Says

The Illinois Drug Paraphernalia Control Act makes it illegal to possess products, equipment, or materials that are intended to be used in producing, preparing, testing, hiding, or using controlled substances, including marijuana. (Technically, equipment for making methamphetamine is covered under a separate statute but is still illegal.) The drug paraphernalia law covers a wide variety of products, including but not limited to:

  • Pipes;
  • Bongs;
  • Carb tubes;
  • Scales; and
  • Cutting materials.

In most cases, the possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor. Those who are approved for medical marijuana by the state of Illinois are permitted to possess the appropriate products to facilitate medical use.

Two Civil Law Violations

When low-level marijuana possession was decriminalized in Illinois in 2016, the Drug Paraphernalia Act was also updated. The update created a new civil law violation to go along with the civil offense of low-level possession. Specifically, the Act now says that a person who is cited for the civil violation of marijuana possession may also be cited for possession of related drug paraphernalia—presuming such paraphernalia is found.

The Act, however, does not say what should happen if no illegal drugs are found or if the police and prosecutors handle the drug possession offense as a local ordinance violation. For example, if the police legally search you and find a small marijuana pipe in your pocket but you are not in possession of marijuana, the law seems to suggest that you could be charged with the full misdemeanor offense of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Similarly, if local police do find a small amount of marijuana, they could opt to cite you under an applicable municipal ordinance instead of the state law. In such a case, the paraphernalia charge could plausibly still be brought on the state level.

Contact Us for Help

If you are facing charges of any type related to the possession of drug paraphernalia, it is important to seek help from a qualified Kane County criminal defense attorney. Call 847-488-0889 for a free, no-obligation consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1937&ChapterID=53

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1947&ChapterID=53

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marijuana, Elgin criminal defense attorneyOpioid abuse has become a major public health crisis in recent decades. Many individuals become addicted to opioids after being prescribed drugs such as codeine, hydrocodone, OxyContin, or Percocet to manage extreme pain. Opioids are extremely addictive, and when a person continually takes these drugs, they eventually need more and more to feel the same pain-relieving effects. Many people become addicted to pain pills and then end up turning to heroin or fentanyl. Each day, an estimated 155 people lose their lives to opioid overdose. Some experts believe that medical cannabis could be the key to reducing the staggering number of opioid overdose deaths.

Studies Compared States with Legalized Medical Marijuana in States Without Legalized Marijuana

Recently, two studies regarding the medicinal benefits of cannabis were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers compared opioid prescription frequency for states which have allowed the legal use of marijuana to those states which have not adopted legalized cannabis. One study analyzed opioid prescriptions covered by Medicare Part D and the other considered opioid prescriptions covered by Medicaid.

Through the investigation, it was determined that states which allow medical cannabis had 2.21 million fewer daily doses of opioids prescribed than states without legalized medicinal marijuana. Furthermore, states which allow citizens to use marijuana for medical purposes have 5.88% fewer opioid prescriptions under Medicaid than states which have not legalized medicinal use. David Bradford, researcher, and professor of public administration and policy at the University of Georgia describes the significance of these comparisons. "This study adds one more brick in the wall in the argument that cannabis clearly has medical applications," he explains.

Low-Level Possession of Marijuana in Illinois Is Decriminalized

Medical marijuana is legal in Illinois for those who are properly registered with the state, but possession for any other reason is against the law. Holding less than 10 grams of marijuana is only a civil violation which incurs a maximum fine of $200. Possession of a larger amount of marijuana can be considered a felony offense which is punishable by several years in jail. The sale, trafficking, or cultivation of marijuana in Illinois is punishable by even more severe consequences.

If You Have Been Charged with a Drug-Related Criminal Offense, You Need an Attorney

Those found guilty of drug charges can face serious punitive consequences including imprisonment. If you are an Illinois resident who has been arrested for a drug-related crime, an effective defense strategy can help keep you out of jail. To speak with an experienced Kane County drug crimes attorney from The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, call 847-488-0889 today.

Sources:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/02/health/medical-cannabis-law-opioid-prescription-study/index.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005500K4

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medical marijuana, Kane County drug crimes defense lawyerLast week, an Illinois House panel called The House Elementary Education Committee unanimously approved legislation which would allow school children to consume medical marijuana in school. The proposed legislation would allow a parent or legal guardian to administer infused medical marijuana on school grounds and in school-owned transportation.

Medical Marijuana Prevents Student’s Seizures

House Bill 4870 was largely influenced by a lawsuit brought by parents of a child who has seizures. The girl suffers from seizures after undergoing chemotherapy treatment, and medical marijuana is the only medication which effectively controls them. The parents sued the school because they were not allowed to change their daughter’s medical marijuana patch or administer medical marijuana oil under her tongue on school grounds. As the law currently stands, a school nurse could lose his or her license if they administered medical marijuana to a student – even if the student has a valid medical marijuana card. Although it is unlikely, the student and her parents could face criminal prosecution for sending the girl to school with a medical marijuana patch. Advocates of the bill say that this is unacceptable.

Only Medical Cannabis Will Be Included in Bill

The proposed legislation does not allow students to smoke marijuana in the schools. Parents are only allowed to administer infused products to their children. This includes food, oils, or other products which contain medical marijuana but are not smoked. If the bill passes the full House and is eventually signed by the governor, schools will be required to allow parents and legal guardians to administer medical marijuana to their children in school. Children must have a valid pre-approved medical marijuana card in order to qualify for this opportunity.

The measure is sponsored by State Representative Lou Lang. He said of the bill, "Before anyone sets their hair on fire about medical marijuana in school, it&s important to understand that tots won&t be toking up in class. Discreet, private locations in a school will set aside for parents to administer the product and have no impact on anyone else in the building." Colorado, New Jersey, Maine and Washington state already allow students to use medical marijuana at school.

Experienced Kane County Criminal Defense Lawyer

To be clear, marijuana of any kind, including medical cannabidiol is currently not allowed in schools. If you or your child has been charged with a drug-related crime, you need an attorney who will help you understand your rights and protect your freedom. Call 847-488-0889 to speak with a skilled Elgin drug crimes defense attorney at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/skokie/community/chi-ugc-article-medical-marijuana-administered-in-schools-by-2018-03-12-story.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/22/health/medical-marijuana-school-illinois/index.html

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study, Elgin drug crimes defense attorneyWhen the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program finally got underway in late 2015, Illinois lawmakers hoped that legalizing marijuana for those with approved medical conditions would have positive results. The main goal of the program was to help such patients alleviate pain and to deal with chronic health problems while reducing the need for highly-addictive opioid prescriptions. A new peer-reviewed study suggests that the pilot program seems to be working.

Limited Study Participants

The limited-scale survey was conducted by researchers at DePaul University and Rush University and included responses from 30 patients currently registered for the Illinois medical marijuana program. The project, while small, is the first peer-reviewed, published study regarding medical marijuana use in Illinois specifically. The study’s authors acknowledge that the survey was not large enough to extrapolate percentages or quantified conclusions, the response received did provide anecdotal support for other studies that suggest medical cannabis may help reduce the use of opioids.

The participants were all volunteers, which led the researchers to note that the subjects’ opinions may skew in favor of marijuana, but the feedback provided much needed qualitative information about how the drug is being used so future studies can be done with better accuracy.

An Alternative to Prescription Painkillers

The average age of the participants was 45, and most used marijuana for chronic pain, seizures, or inflammation. They anonymously reported that they had numerous concerns about tolerance, side effects, and addiction when it came to prescription drugs. Marijuana, overall, was reported to manage certain symptoms better, faster, and for longer periods of time than prescription medications. Subjects claimed that using marijuana helped a number of them eliminate the need for prescriptions that were "frightening" and could make a patient feel like a "zombie."

The study’s lead author is presently working on another project that has already accumulated more than 10 times the number of responses. With about 25,000 registered participants statewide, larger studies will certainly be needed to gauge the pilot program’s success.

Facing Drug Charges?

Possession of more than 10 grams of marijuana is still a criminal offense for those who are not registered to participate in the state’s medical cannabis program. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with marijuana possession, you need an advocate who will fight to protect your rights. Contact an experienced Elgin drug crimes defense attorney to discuss your case. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

https://www.ilnews.org/news/health/study-illinois-patients-use-medical-marijuana-as-an-alternative-to/article_f48f5ec4-ad30-11e7-b2c0-67588c6d9d39.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-medical-marijuana-illinois-study-painkillers-met-20171008-story.html

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