How Have Illinois Cannabis Laws Changed Recently?
How Have Illinois Cannabis Laws Evolved?
Recently there has been a lot of power behind the cannabis legalization movement. As a result of this push towards the change of Illinois cannabis laws, marijuana is now legal. Despite the new history with cannabis being forged, Illinois wasn’t always this way.
Recent Evolution of Illinois Cannabis Laws
Over the years, there have been a lot of changes to the laws concerning cannabis. This ranges from the legal status to the drug to the penalties due to changing laws. There is a long and colorful history concerning the evolution of Illinois cannabis laws, even if they aren’t quite finished evolving yet.
In only eleven states, marijuana is legal, and in the rest, it still counts as a class one drug. Cannabis is classified the same way methamphetamines and cocaine are. The issue with this classification level is that it doesn’t tell the whole picture.
Things like cultivation are a felony no matter how many plants it is, as is selling or trading an old pipe to a friend. The first and second offenses of being caught with the drug are only misdemeanors depending on the amount you were caught with. As a result of this criminal classification, anyone caught with marijuana could ruin their future.
Reason for Classification
If any of you had to sit through D.A.R.E. or had children that went through it, you know that they demonized marijuana and told people that it was a gateway drug. This means that if they smoked cannabis, even once they might want to do crazy drugs next, which has been proven incorrect.
When the prevalence of deaths due to the use of oxycodone, this classification is ridiculous. Despite the high death count due to the oxycodone epidemic, it is only a class two drug.
Yet, the reason for the illegalization of a prevalent drug before this classification was a response to the insurgence of Mexican immigration in the early 1900s and an attempt to control these new citizens. The demonization of this drug continued, blaming the violence of minorities towards white people and a significant amount of other unfounded things. This led to Richard Nixon signing marijuana into a class one drug.
The history behind the illegalization of cannabis is mostly political, as many things are, and so this is being legalized with politics. In many other states, there are inequalities with the new marijuana businesses, and there are new programs enstated by the government to try and keep these racial and political things from repeating themselves in a similar manner.
Obviously, depending on the amount of marijuana and the intent of the drug, the penalties were different. Not only that, but the differences changed depending on where you were, if you crossed state lines, or even if you were lending some to a friend. Fines for first offenders were common, but even commoner was imprisoning people for these minor drug offenses.
There were heavy fines and jail for people that got caught with cannabis before it was legalized. This affected a lot of people, but specifically areas with lower socio-economic backgrounds.
New Cannabis Laws
Even with the legalization of marijuana in Illinois, there are still a lot of rules and regulations that everyone needs to follow. There will be an Illinois tax on the products sold and trying to buy from unlicensed people to get around this is illegal. Growing your own plants is still illegal too, so going to licensed dispensaries with a medical marijuana card is the only option.
Legality as of 2019
Since August 2018 and as of 2019, it’s legal to use medical cannabis in the state of Illinois. This is a huge step in the right direction, especially with the legalization of marijuana throughout the country. This means that getting a card for medical marijuana allows for the possession and use of this newly legal medicine.
Eleventh State to Legalize Medical Cannabis
Illinois is the eleventh state in the country to legalize the use of medical cannabis on