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IL defense lawyerTen states in the United States plus Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana, but Illinois is not one of them. Though the state may be getting closer to legalizing the substance, it is still considered a drug crime to possess weed. This includes the cultivation of cannabis plants.

There are serious consequences to possession of marijuana charges, but punishments for growing the plants are even worse. According to Illinois law, growing cannabis plants can be a misdemeanor or a felony charge with punishments varying according to the number of plants grown:

  • Five or fewer plants: Class A misdemeanor charge, one year in prison and $2,500 in fines.
  • Five-20 plants: Class 4 felony charge, up to six years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
  • Over 20-50 plants: Class 3 felony charge, 2-10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
  • Over 50-200 plants: Class 2 felony charge, 3-14 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
  • Over 200 plants: Class 1 felony charge, 4-30 years in prison and $1000,000 in fines.

Of course, there are more penalties that one may face if the prosecution discovers that the plants were grown with the intent to sell or distribute the cannabis.

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Illinois defense lawyerA person does not need to have physical drugs on their person to be charged with a drug-related crime. If an individual is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, they may face a fine of up to $2,500 and a misdemeanor charge for a conviction in the state of Illinois. In order to avoid this outcome, a person must know what drug paraphernalia is and what the laws are surrounding it.

What Is Drug Paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia can include any item that can be used to inhale or ingest an illegal substance such as pipes, bongs, or cocaine spoons or vials. It also includes kits that can be used in the production of drugs, devices, and equipment that can be used to increase the strength of a controlled substance, adulterants, and diluents, or substances that can alter the potency of a drug.

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Illinois drug lawyerA study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that one in four people, between the ages of 18 to 20, had used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes one or more times in their lives. Prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin are one of the most commonly abused types of medication. Students may overestimate the benefits of using prescription stimulants and underestimate the risks, which can lead to negative consequences for the student’s health and personal life.

Reasons Behind Drug Use

College students may believe that using prescription drugs will enhance their academic performance, but research has shown that this may not be the case. In fact, studies have found that college students who misuse prescription stimulant medication received lower grades than their peers.

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Illinois drug attorneyEvery year, around 10,000 people in the United States are killed in car accidents involving a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. In recent decades, law enforcement agencies have increased their efforts to combat drunk driving, and they are now looking to enforce laws against driving while under the influence of illegal drugs.

In 2015, the number of drivers who tested positive for drugs after being involved in a fatal accident was greater than the number of drivers who tested positive for alcohol. As more states legalize marijuana, and more people across the country abuse prescription drugs, opioids, and methamphetamine, police are looking to implement new tests that will allow them to make DUI arrests when drivers are under the influence of drugs.

Testing for Drugs

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Illinois drug lawsWhile the possession of marijuana is a criminal offense throughout much of the United States, its use is widespread, and support for marijuana legalization is growing. Currently, the recreational use of marijuana is legal in eight states and the District of Columbia, and 64% of Americans support legalization. As several other states consider ballot referendums or legislation to legalize marijuana, Illinois residents are wondering if our state may be the next in line to make this change.

Current Illinois Marijuana Laws

In 2016, Illinois passed a law decriminalizing the possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana. While possession of marijuana is still considered illegal, anyone caught in possession of less than 10 grams will not be charged with a criminal offense; instead, they will face a civil fine of $100 to $200. Possession of more than 10 grams is a criminal offense ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class 1 felony, depending on the amount of marijuana.

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