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How States Restrict Recreational MarijuanaIllinois laws treat marijuana differently as compared to other illegal substances. Medical marijuana is legal, and lawmakers have decriminalized possession of a small amount of marijuana. With several states having already legalized recreational marijuana, Illinois seems likely to follow suit at some point. However, these states heavily regulate recreational marijuana use because of the perceived public safety risks associated with being high. Marijuana-related arrests continue as the public and law enforcement figure out the new laws. Here are five restrictions that states use when they legalize recreational marijuana:

  1. Possession Limits: States put limits on how many grams of marijuana you can have, which can vary depending on whether it is in flower, liquid, or edible form. The amount you can possess in public is much less than what you can possess at your private residence. Being caught with an ounce more than the legal limit is usually a petty offense, but possessing large amounts of marijuana can be a misdemeanor or felony.
  2. Age Minimum: An adult must be at least 21 years old in order to possess marijuana in states where it is legal. As with alcohol, teens will be charged with underage possession.
  3. Where You Can Use It: Every state that has legalized recreational marijuana has also banned people from using it in public places. Smoking marijuana in a public place is a petty offense or a misdemeanor if you possess more than the legal limit.
  4. Transporting Marijuana: As with alcohol, drivers are not allowed to have marijuana in an open container in the passenger area of a vehicle. Police officers may have their own interpretations of what is an open container, but they usually must observe evidence that the marijuana product has been used.
  5. Driving Under the Influence: Driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime, but states have not yet agreed on how to measure whether a driver is impaired by marijuana. Law enforcement uses THC levels as the equivalent to the blood alcohol concentration for driving under the influence of alcohol. However, THC levels may not indicate whether a driver was impaired by the substance because they can stay in a person’s blood for days. Without an objective test, police officers must rely on subjective observations when deciding whether to make an arrest.

Facing Marijuana Charges

Illinois does not appear to be close to legalizing recreational marijuana. Possessing more than 10 grams of marijuana is a criminal offense that could result in jail time and fines. A DuPage County criminal defense attorney at Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, can help you contest your marijuana charge or receive minimal punishment. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-260-9647.


Unlawful Search Dismisses Drug Possession ConvictionAn Illinois appellate court recently overturned a man’s conviction on the charge of unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. The defendant successfully argued that Illinois state troopers unlawfully seized and searched his vehicle before discovering the narcotics. A lower court had dismissed his request to suppress the evidence. Without legal evidence of narcotics possession, the appellate court ordered that the charge be dismissed.

Case Details

Six days before the defendant’s arrest, an undercover state trooper met the defendant in order to purchase narcotics. The defendant allegedly provided the state trooper with a small tube containing methamphetamine, but no money was exchanged. On the date of the arrest, the undercover trooper informed the state police that he believed the defendant was transporting narcotics. Police located the defendant’s vehicle, and a state trooper pulled him over for driving seven miles per hour over the speed limit. While the trooper was questioning the defendant and checking for any outstanding warrants, another trooper arrived with a dog trained to identify the presence of narcotics. The dog alerted the trooper to possible drugs in the car. The defendant allegedly gave his verbal consent for the troopers to search the vehicle, but they did not find any narcotics or evidence of hidden compartments. State police then transported the defendant and his vehicle to a local police station, claiming that impending rain would threaten the safety of the troopers at the scene. When at the station, the police began a second search and received written consent from the defendant. The troopers found tubes containing narcotics, located near the vehicle's air filter. The defendant was charged and later convicted, resulting in a 15-year prison sentence.

Illinois Ranked 19th Among States with Strictest DUI LawsA recent study comparing state laws for driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances concluded that Illinois has the 19th strictest DUI laws in the country. Arizona has the strictest laws, while South Dakota is the most lenient. According to the research findings, Illinois is stricter in its DUI laws than neighboring states Indiana and Wisconsin, which tied for 37th.  The study suggests that Illinois may have harsh penalties for DUI convictions but can in some ways be considered moderate compared to other states.


The study looked at the criminal penalties resulting from DUI convictions and practices meant to prevent DUI incidents. Researchers selected several metric categories and assigned each state a point value based on their compliance or strictness with the category. The categories included:


types of cybercrime, DuPage County Criminal Defense AttorneyUse of the Internet has become a ubiquitous part of everyday life. Likewise, cybercrime has also become part of everyday criminal activity and law enforcement. And while the Internet may have once seemed like a safe haven for criminal activity, where illegal actions were supposedly shrouded in the anonymity of the online world, this is no longer the case.

Just as cybercrime itself has become more involved and advanced, so has the ability to prosecute it.

Silk Road 


Illinois Prescription Drug Abuse, DuPage County Criminal Defense AttorneyThe rates of heroin use in Illinois may frequently be front-page news; however, there is another serious drug epidemic coursing through Illinois—the abuse of prescription drugs.

While it may seem a far less serious offense than the use, sale, or distribution of harder drugs with headline-making statistics and deaths such as heroin, the penalties for illegal prescription drug use can be just as serious and devastating for a person in the long-term.

In 2008, there were 14,800 prescription painkiller deaths alone nationwide. For every one of these deaths, there were 10 admissions for treatment of abuse, and 32 emergency room visits for misuse or abuse of prescription drugs.

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