What You Should Know About Illinois Drug Laws in 2019

Attitudes toward drugs are changing, so it is not surprising that Illinois has some new drug laws you should know about in 2019 and that additional reforms are being considered. Many people now believe that the “war on drugs,” which threw so many non-violent offenders into jail in recent years, has created more problems than it solves. Still, the fact is that anyone charged with a drug crime in Illinois faces major penalties.

Due to the seriousness and complexity of the laws, it is essential to get top-notch legal assistance if you are charged with any drug crimes.  The experienced Illinois drug charges lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances and requirements.  Whether you have been accused of drug possession, trafficking, or manufacture,  our criminal defense lawyers will work with you to mount the most effective defense possible.

We offer a free consultation, so contact us online or call our offices today.

What You Should Know About Illinois Drug Laws in 2019

It is believed that Illinois could be the next midwestern state to legalize marijuana.  Representative Carol Ammons has introduced House Bill 902, the “Cannabis Legalization Equity Act,” that would allow anyone 21 or older to purchase or sell marijuana. Driving under the influence of the drug would still be illegal, and only “legitimate, taxpaying business people” would be permitted to sell cannabis. Possession of as many as 224 grams and growing as many as 24 plants for personal consumption would be legal, and there would be licensing of cultivation facilities and retail dispensaries.

Other marijuana-related measures which have become law are:

  • Legalized hempPA-100-1091 legalizes industrial hemp. Hemp is a derivative of cannabis and contains almost none of the mind-altering chemical THC, but it has useful purposes and can be a big cash crop. Illinois’ Department of Natural Resources is finalizing the specific rules farmers will have to follow, regulating seed distribution and crop amounts to prevent trouble with federal law enforcement.
  • Ban on synthetic marijuana — All synthetic cannabinoids (plants or oils with chemicals added that are meant to mimic the effects of marijuana) will now be Schedule I controlled substances and illegal in Illinois if misused or if not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. SB 2341 also closes a loophole in which manufacturers could evade the law with slight alterations to their formulas. Manufacturing or delivery of those substances would carry two to five years of prison time and fines of up to $25,000. Possession may result in at least one year in jail.

Additional Drug-related Laws:

  • Increasing Access to Treatments — Under the Emergency Opioid and Addiction Treatment Act, people with substance use disorders can get immediate access to outpatient treatment. SB 682 allows people to begin treatment prior to receiving authorization from an insurance company and requires the plan to cover outpatient treatment for 72 hours while the patient challenges the denial.
  • Training of Doctors — SB 2777 requires doctors who are able to prescribe controlled substances – including opioids – to complete at least 10 hours in continuing education regarding the safety measures in prescribing potent drugs.
  • New Name – Illinois’ Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse will be renamed the Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery. Laws governing it will be rewritten in order to provide clearer guidelines for organizations that provide intervention and treatment and for insurance companies to adopt a standardized approach to care.

What are Punishments for Drug Crimes In Illinois?

Illinois drug laws address controlled substances that include heroin, cocaine and morphine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, LSD and peyote.  Illinois law prohibits the manufacturing, delivering or possessing with the intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance.  Because of the potential harm to others, drug trafficking is punished more severely than mere possession; the larger the amount of the drug involved, the greater the punishment.

For example, in Illinois, possession of less than 1 gram of cocaine or heroin or morphine is a Class 4 felony, with a sentence of probation or 1 to 3 years in jail. Possession of 900 grams or more may carry sentences of 10 to 50 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000 or the full street value of the drug, whichever is greater.

Once drug sale or trafficking is involved, penalties increase.  A delivery of less than one gram of cocaine or heroin is a Class 2 felony, with a possible sentence of 4 to 15 years in prison, with possibility of probation. If the amount of drugs is 900 grams, imprisonment ranges from 15 to 60 years.

Put Your Trust In Us — Contact Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. for a Free Consultation.

If you have been charged with any drug crime in Illinois, you need to hire the best criminal defense attorney you can find.  The seasoned Illinois drug crime defense attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. will examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence available in every situation and work with you to come up with an effective defense strategy and determine whether to take a case to trial. Our goal is always to minimize the negative impact of the situation and to focus on protecting your freedoms, liberties and rights. We will answer all your questions and make sure you fully understand the facts surrounding your case and what you need to know about Illinois drug laws in 2019.

Delaying can only make your situation worse, so contact us online or call our offices today to schedule your free initial consultation.