Illinois has been at the forefront of the marijuana legalization movement. They first made it medically legal for those who needed it – then moved to make it legal recreationally across the state, decriminalizing small amounts of other drugs along the way.
These changes have made a big impact on those who live in Illinois, but it’s not a free pass to simply do whatever you want with marijuana whenever and however you desire. There are still laws to observe, especially when it comes to transporting marijuana in the state.
As a matter of fact, the state has maintained some rather strict laws about transporting marijuana. If you violate these rules, then you can still face criminal charges – even when possessing legal marijuana. Here’s what you should know about how to legally and safely transport marijuana in Illinois to keep yourself on the right side of the law.
Transporting Marijuana in Illinois
If you are of legal age, which is 21, then you can transport marijuana legally within the state of Illinois. You can’t simply place the marijuana anywhere in the car, however.
Instead, you must place it in a container that is child-proof and out of reach of the driver. The container cannot be opened while you are in the car. It’s a good idea to simply place the container in the rear of the vehicle, perhaps even in the trunk, to ensure you’re abiding by the law.
Also, you cannot consume any marijuana products in the car. That is true no matter if you’re a driver or a passenger. You cannot operate a vehicle if you’re under the influence of marijuana in Illinois.
Being caught doing so will be considered a drugged driving charge in the state. This can result in penalties that are very similar to DUI charges.
It might be good to mention here that cars aren’t the only place where you are restricted from consuming marijuana. It’s illegal to do so in boats, aircraft, and other motorized vehicles, as well. The police can test your blood for THC, and if you are above the legal limit of five nanograms per milliliter while operating a motor vehicle, then you may face criminal charges.
Legal Amounts of Marijuana to Transport
Now that you know how to transport marijuana legally, you need to know how much is legal under these circumstances. All citizens over the age of 21 in Illinois can possess five grams of cannabis concentrate, 30 grams of cannabis flower, or up to 500 milligrams of products infused with THC. Anyone who is not a legal resident of Illinois can legally have half of those amounts.
What If You Illegally Transport Marijuana?
If you are caught smoking or using marijuana in a vehicle, then you face penalties for drugged driving in Illinois. How you will be penalized for this infraction depends on your past criminal history, plus if you’ve ever had a DUI charge or a drugged driving charge in the past.
You can go to jail for a few months or even years depending on those factors. You can also be made to pay fines and risk losing your driver’s license.
For transporting marijuana illegally, you face a Class A misdemeanor. This can send you to jail for up to 12 months and require you to pay fines of as much as $2,500.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases, and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by Avvo (2013 and 2018), SuperLawyers (2015-2020), The National Trial Lawyers, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.