Medical Marijuana and Police Interactions in Illinois

medical marijuana, limitations, Rolling Meadows family law attorneyIllinois’s medical marijuana program has only recently gone into effect. For many, the new law will give them access to much needed treatment options. But, there are also potential legal complications that can come into play if people are not careful. You could still find yourself facing serious drug charges, even if you do have a medical marijuana card.

Compliance With the New Law

Before you can legally buy medical marijuana you must:

  • Complete the multi-step application process;
  • Have received a diagnosis of one of the legally approved conditions;
  • Register with a single dispensary; and
  • Receive your medical marijuana identification card

If you do not follow all of these steps, you can still be arrested, charged, and convicted of a drug crime.The application process includes running a criminal background check, so if you have a history of certain drug crimes you can be denied a medical marijuana card.

Under the law, you are only allowed to obtain 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana in any two-week period. It is possible to get a waiver for more, subject to a physician’s approval.

Medical Marijuana and DUI

Even if you meet all of the requirements above, you can still be arrested for DUI if you are under the influence of marijuana while driving and it impairs your ability to drive. If you are convicted of DUI, you may lose your medical marijuana card.

While there is currently no breath test for marijuana, like there is for alcohol, if you are arrested for DUI, the police can require you to submit to a blood draw to test how much, if any, marijuana is in your system. The is ongoing debate, however, regarding the accuracy of such tests, as traces of marijuana can remain for weeks after ingestion.

Medical Marijuana and Drug Possession Charges

Even if you have a medical marijuana ID card, you can still be arrested for drug possession and drug trafficking crimes if you have more than the 2.5 ounces you are allowed under the law.

If you have an exemption that allows you to have more than 2.5 ounces, you can be charged with drug crimes if you possess more than your waiver authorizes. Conviction of a drug crime could result in you losing your medical marijuana card and your eligibility to participate in the program going forward.

Having a medical marijuana card does not mean you forfeit your Constitutional rights. It also does not mean you are exempt from obeying all the drug laws and regulations of medical marijuana.

If you have been charged with a drug crime, you need to meet with an experienced and knowledgeable Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney. Call 847-253-3100 today to schedule a consultation. Do not talk to anyone about your case until you have met with a lawyer.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1937&ChapterID=53

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