Marijuana is legal in Illinois but what are the laws?


Photo credit to WTTW

Eva Maglaya, Reporter

As of January 1, 2020 marijuana is now legal in Illinois for recreational use for people 21 or older but there are some restrictions, according to ABC7 Chicago.

First off, marijuana can only be bought and sold at licensed dispensaries.  In order to become a licensed dispensary must pay a $30,000 application fee as well as a $60,000 yearly renewal fee if awarded the license.  You must also be 21 or older to purchase or use marijuana, according to ABC7 Chicago.

According to Illinois Legal Aid, it is still illegal to grow it yourself unless you are a medical marijuana patient.  Illinois residents are only allowed to have a maximum of 30 grams of marijuana, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and 500 milligrams of THC in the form of edibles on them at any time.  These numbers get cut in half if you are not a resident of Illinois.

Although the drug is legal you are not allowed to smoke in public places.  However, you can smoke in your home or apartment, with your landlord’s permission, or in tobacco retailers or marijuana dispensaries if they allow it, according to Illinois Legal Aid.

Not only are there plenty of rules on marijuana there are also many relatively high taxes.  These taxes go from 10-25% of the price of your purchase and apply to marijuana, cannabis, and products containing these substances, according to ABC7 Chicago.

This new law is not only making this drug legal but is also allow for certain drug charges to be reevaluated and possibly expunged, according to ABC7 Chicago.  This applies to people in jail for possession of fewer than 30 grams prior to legalization.

Although marijuana is legal in Illinois schools have their own rules.  According to U.S. News, if a school receives any federal funding staff is not allowed to use marijuana.  If a school does not receive state funding, it is at the employer’s discretion if their employees can use marijuana, according to The Chicago Tribune.  This is due to the fact that marijuana is still illegal federally, even though it is legal in Illinois.