Illinois takes step to expand legal medical marijuana use
The Illinois legislature recently took a step toward legalizing CBD oil for minors suffering from pediatric epilepsy.
Last year, Illinois lawmakers voted to legalize medical marijuana in the state. Since the program went into effect, individuals have been advocating for the expanded use of medical marijuana.
Recently, the Illinois Senate passed a bill that many consider a step forward for medical marijuana policy in Illinois. The proposed legislation would allow minors who suffer from pediatric epilepsy to take a form of medical marijuana to ease their symptoms.
The medical marijuana used to treat pediatric epilepsy is called cannabidiol – commonly referred to as CBD oil. The substance is considered safe for minor consumption, as the majority of the THC – the component in marijuana that causes a high – is removed when making the drug. CBD oil has been found to be very effective in treating the debilitating symptoms of pediatric epilepsy.
While the Illinois legislature was contemplating the legalization of CBD oil for minors, many families living in Illinois moved to Colorado, where the drug is already legal.
As the Illinois House already passed the bill, the proposed legislation will now go to Governor Quinn.
Fight charges of marijuana possession in Illinois
While marijuana possession for medical use is legal in Illinois, possession for recreational purposes continues to be illegal. The penalties for marijuana possession can be severe, depending on the amount of the drug found in an individual’s possession and the number of prior convictions.
For instance, those found in possession of 2.5 grams of marijuana or less can face misdemeanor charges. Upon conviction, they can face up to 30 days in jail. The potential jail sentence increases to up to six months if an individual is found with between 2.5 and 10 grams of marijuana.
For those found with 10 to 30 grams of marijuana, a first offense can lead to up to one year in jail. Upon subsequent convictions, an individual can face felony charges with a fine of up to $25,000 and jail time between one and three years.
The most severe penalties are reserved for individuals found with more than 5,000 grams of marijuana. In such cases, a mandatory minimum jail sentence of four years is imposed, with a potential jail sentence of up to 20 years. In addition, he or she can be fined up to $25,000.
If you are currently facing charges of marijuana possession in Illinois, you should take steps to protect your interests. Consider talking to an experienced criminal defense attorney, who will work with you to establish a strong defense on your behalf.