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Possession of Marijuana in Illinois

In Illinois, the Cannabis Control Act makes it against the law to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana (720 ILCS 550/4). The definition of marijuana includes both naturally occurring and synthetic forms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinol derivatives, and the possible penalties depend on the amount involved. If you or someone you care about have been charged with possession of marijuana, you should seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Penalties for Possession

The penalties under Illinois law for each amount of marijuana are as follows:

  • Up to 2.5 grams (Class C misdemeanor): up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,500, or both.
  • Between 2.5 and 10 grams (Class B misdemeanor): up to 6 months in jail, a fine of up to $1,500, or both.
  • Between 10 and 30 grams (Class A misdemeanor): up to 1 year in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both
    • Subsequent offense (Class 4 felony): between 1 and 3 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both.
  • Between 30 and 500 gramsClass 4 felony between 1 and 3 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both.
    • Subsequent offense (Class 3 felony): between 2 and 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both.
  • Between 500 and 2,000 grams (Class 3 felony): between 2 and 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both.
  • Between 2,000 and 5,000 grams (Class 2 felony): between 3 and 7 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both.
  • More than 5,000 grams (Class 1 felony): between 4 and 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both.

Casual Delivery Counts as Possession, Not Distribution

The law clarifies that casual delivery of marijuana is considered a possession crime, not a distribution crime. This means that if a person delivers 10 grams or less of marijuana to someone else, but does not receive any payment, the punishment will only be for the amount possessed. If you have been charged with distribution under such circumstances, you should consult with a lawyer about potentially getting these charges dropped.

Contact a Chicago Defense Attorney

If you are facing charges for possession or distribution of marijuana, you need an experienced drug crimes defense attorney representing you. Contact Chicago’s drug crimes defense attorney Steven Goldman for a consultation today.