How Do You Legally Transport Marijuana in Illinois?
Illinois is one of the states that has legalized marijuana, both recreationally and medicinally. While this makes many Illinois residents happy, it’s important to realize that this legalization isn’t a free pass. You can’t do anything you want with marijuana anywhere you please just because you’re over 21.
In fact, there are some really strict rules about marijuana in the state, including how to transport it. If you’re caught violating these rules, then you can face criminal penalties – even though marijuana is legal. Here’s what you need to know about how to safely and legally transport marijuana in the state.
How to Transport Marijuana in Illinois
Under Illinois law, those who are of legal age can transport marijuana within the state. However, the marijuana must be kept in a sealed, child-proof container that isn’t accessible to the driver as the car is moving. The best practice is to place the purchased marijuana in the rear of the vehicle and not open the container while you are in the car.
It is illegal in the state to consume marijuana in a car. This goes for both the driver and any passengers. It is also illegal to operate a vehicle under the influence of marijuana. If you are caught driving under the influence, it can count as a drugged driving charge under Illinois law, which has similar penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Keep in mind that a car isn’t the only place you cannot consume marijuana according to state law. You also cannot operate an aircraft, boat, or any other type of motorized vehicle while under the influence. Illinois has a legal THC limit in the blood, which is five nanograms per milliliter. If you test above this, you can face criminal charges.
How Much Can You Legally Transport?
If you are a citizen of Illinois, you are allowed to possess the following amounts of marijuana as long as you are over 21 years of age:
- Five grams of cannabis concentrate
- As many as 500 milligrams of products infused with THC
- 30 grams of cannabis flower
If you are not a resident of Illinois, you are allowed to hold half of those amounts in the state.
Penalties for Transporting Marijuana
As mentioned, you can face DUI penalties if you are caught smoking marijuana in a vehicle or are found under the influence of marijuana while operating a vehicle. These depend on the number of your previous DUI charges. You can face penalties from a few months in jail all the way up to a few years, as well as steep fines and revocation of your driver’s license.
However, there are also penalties for transporting marijuana illegally. Illegal transportation is a Class A misdemeanor, and it can send you to jail for up to one year. You may also be required to pay fines for as much as $2,500. And you may be compelled to have an assessment done by the court. One piece of good news: there is currently no driver’s license suspension associated with this crime.
Remember, marijuana may be legal but there are still limits on what the law allows. As long as you are following the rules and transporting marijuana legally, then you should be just fine.
However, if you break the rules and get caught, you could face some serious penalties that will go on your permanent criminal record. This could impact your life for years to come.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.