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Illinois Civil Marijuana Possession 2016

Posted on Feb 16, 2017

Illinois joined at least 16 other states on July 29, 2016 when it enacted 720 ILCS 550/4.  That law decriminalized the possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis.  More than 10 grams (up to 100 grams) is still considered a misdemeanor offense.  Previously up to 30 grams was considered a misdemeanor offense.  Over 30 grams was a felony.  Now the law alllows three times the possession limit to remain a misdemeanor offense.  The fines vary for the civil offense from $100 up to $200 plus court costs. 

Practically speaking this change will affect quite a few offenders.  Most cases prosecuted before the law were for amounts lower than 10 grams.  There were and are quite a few cases where the cannabis amounts are in excess of 100 grams. 

The obvious benefit to the law change is that a casual user who faces a charge will not have a criminal conviction on his/her background.  However, it is unknown what remedy now exists under the expungement act since that only allows the remedy for a criminal arrest. 

Brian L. Polinske
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