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Recreational cannabis use in Illinois will become legal on January 1, 2020. The new law also provides for expungement of some cannabis convictions. While not a comprehensive guide, we aim to address the most popular questions people may have.

Personal Use
The cannabis legalization law allows Illinois residents* age 21 and older to possess lawfully:

  • Up to 30 grams of cannabis leaf
  • Up to 500 mg of THC-infused products
  • Up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate
 

*The thresholds listed above are cut in half for non-Illinois residents.

  • Only medical marijuana card holders are allowed to grow marijuana (up to 5 plants)
 

Home Grow Cannabis Plant Limits

Illinois residents who are qualifying patients with an Illinois medical cannabis registry identification card may grow up to 5 cannabis plants over 5 inches tall within their residence. The cannabis plants and any cannabis leaf in excess of 30 grams must remain outside of public view within a closed, locked space on the residential property.

Unlawful Use of Cannabis  

  • In any "public place," where the person can be "reasonably expected to be observed by others"
  • In any motor vehicle
  • On school grounds, or within a school bus, unless the person has an Illinois medical cannabis card
  • In a correctional facility
  • In a residence used to provide licensed child care
  • In any motor vehicle
  • On school grounds, or within a school bus, unless the person has an Illinois medical cannabis card
  • In a correctional facility
  • In a residence used to provide licensed child care
 

A "public place" includes any government building or publicly owned land (i.e., parks, sidewalk or railcar, government building lobby). A "public place" can be on private property where the person reasonably expects to be observed by others. A "public place" excludes a private residence, whether the person is in his or her home or is within another's residence.

Unlawful Possession of Cannabis Persons over 21 are subject to criminal possession penalties under the state Cannabis Control Act if in excess of the possession limits, and can also be cited for municipal violations. Persons under age 21 are subject to either civil law violations and municipal ordinance violations for simple possession of any amount of cannabis. Additionally, if possessing cannabis while driving a motor vehicle, a person under 21 may also be subject to driver's license suspension under the Illinois Vehicle Code. It is unlawful for any person to allow another person under age 21 to purchase, possess, use, process, transport, grow, or consume cannabis in any amount or in any form, unless the person under 21 has an Illinois Medical Cannabis Card or is authorized under the Community College Cannabis Vocational Pilot Program. It is unlawful to transfer cannabis to a person under 21, unless that person has an Illinois Medical Cannabis Card .

Cannabis Violations in Vehicles
A driver is prohibited from using cannabis within the passenger area of a motor vehicle upon a highway. A driver is prohibited from possessing cannabis within any area of a motor vehicle upon a highway, unless the cannabis is in a container that is sealed, odor-proof, and child-resistant.

A passenger is prohibited from possessing cannabis within the passenger area of a motor vehicle upon a highway, unless the cannabis is in a container that is sealed, odor-proof, and child-resistant.

Drug Paraphernalia Redefined
The state criminal penalty for possession of drug paraphernalia was amended to exclude cannabis paraphernalia from the offense.

Expungement

The law has provided for expungement of some cannabis convictions. 

 Automatic Expungement: 

Cases involving possession of 30 grams or less of cannabis and the offense was not related to a violent offense. Expungements will begin being processed in February 2020 and will be completed state-wide by 2025. Those who quality will be notified once the expungement process has been completed. 

 Petition to Expunge:

 For cases involving possession of 30-500 grams of cannabis or Class 4 Felony Possession with Intent to Deliver 30 grams or less, a Petition to Expunge must be filed with the Court.


For additional information regarding expungements, visit: http://illinoiscourts.gov/Forms/approved/expungement/expungement.asp

For questions about the cannabis law changes, you may email us at cannabis2020questions@co.rock-island.il.us.



Dora A. Villarreal-Nieman Click to send e-mail  - State's Attorney
Rock Island County Courthouse (map ExternalLink.gif)
Second Floor - 1317 3rd Avenue,  Rock Island IL 61201

Phone: (309) 558-3250      Fax: (309) 786-5052      Hours: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM - Monday thru Friday