Cannabis is also commonly referred to as marijuana or pot. Illinois lawmakers recognize that the recreational use of marijuana has damaging physical, psychology and sociological effects. They also note its widespread use by Illinois citizens and acknowledge that previous laws did not decrease the amount of marijuana used. For this reason, they created the Cannabis Control Act that regulates the sale, possession and growth of marijuana. Recently, medical marijuana has been legalized in Illinois. Marijuana is still illegal if not legally prescribed by a medical doctor. The goal of the Cannabis Control Act is to deter cannabis use while also focusing law enforcement efforts into targeting large scale cannabis traffickers. This is why the act varies the penalty for possession of cannabis based on how much cannabis is found in possession. Penalties increase in severity with the amount of marijuana in possession.
Penalties for Illegally Possessing Cannabis
|Amount of Cannabis in Possession||Class of Offense||Penalty|
|Not more than 2.5 grams||Class C Misdemeanor||· up to 30 days in jail· up to two years of probation
· a fine of up to $1,500
|2.5 to 10 grams||Class B Misdemeanor||· up to six months in jail· up to two years of probation
· a fine of up to $1,500
|10 to 30 grams||Class A Misdemeanor; subsequent offense Class 4 felony||· up to one year in jail· up to two years of probation (formal supervision)
· a fine of up to $2,500
|30 to 500 grams||Class 4 felony; subsequent offense Class 3 felony||· possible imprisonment of 1-3 years· fines of up to $25,000|
|500 to 2,000 grams||Class 3 felony||· possible imprisonment of 2-5 years· fines of up to $25,000|
|2,000 to 5,000 grams||Class 2 felony||· possible imprisonment of 3-7 years· fines of up to $25,000|
|More than 5,000 grams||Class 1 felony||· possible imprisonment of 4-15 years· fines of up to $25,000|
Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney for Cannabis Possession
A conviction for the possession of small amounts of marijuana still has the possibility of jail time and fines. Even short sentences disrupt life, affect employment and create hardship. Whether you are charged with a Class C misdemeanor for possession of cannabis or a Class 1 felony, you need a qualified Chicago criminal defense attorney that has the skills and experience to fight your charges. Contact Dennis F. Dwyer, a knowledgeable and professional criminal defense attorney, to learn more about how he can help fight your cannabis possession charges.