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Illegal Transportation of Cannabis

Although medical and recreational marijuana has been legalized in Illinois, there are still limitations on when and where you can use or possess the drug, including motor vehicles.

There are two separate laws which govern possession and use of marijuana in a motor vehicle, one covering medical marijuana and the other covering recreational marijuana. Each law has some similarities and some key differences.

Illegal Transportation or Use of Recreational Marijuana in a Motor Vehicle

Drivers are specifically prohibited from using marijuana within the passenger area of a motor vehicle. Drivers and passengers may not possess marijuana within the passenger area unless it is contained in a sealed, odor-proof, child-resistant container. While the law does not explicitly prohibit a passenger from using marijuana within the vehicle as it does the driver, it may be assumed that it would be illegal for the passenger to use marijuana since it cannot be possessed unless it is in a sealed container.

Illegal transportation or use of marijuana by a driver or a passenger is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in jail and/or a $2,500.00 fine plus mandatory court assessments. At this time there are no driver’s license suspension or revocation provisions for a violation of this law unlike the medical cannabis law as explained below.

Illegal Transportation or Use of Medical Marijuana by a Medical Cardholder in a Motor Vehicle

The law prohibiting the transport or use of medical marijuana in a motor vehicle is similar to that governing recreational marijuana with some important differences. Drivers who are medical marijuana cardholders, caregivers, cultivation center agents or dispensing organization agents may not use marijuana within the passenger area of the motor vehicle.

The law also prohibits the possession of medical marijuana by medical marijuana cardholders, caregivers, cultivation center agents or dispensing organization agents within the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle and, therefore, would also appear to prohibit the use of marijuana by passengers.

A conviction under this law will result in a driver’s license suspension of 6-months for a 1st offender, 12-months for a second offender and driver’s license revocation for a 3rd or subsequent offender. This law would appear to apply to both drivers and passengers.

Illegal transportation or use of medical marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum penalty of 12-months in jail and a $2,500.00 fine plus mandatory court assessments. However, in addition to the possible criminal penalties, a medical cannabis cardholder is subject to the loss of his or her medical cannabis card for a period of 2-years from the end of the sentence imposed by the Court. Additionally, any caregiver, cultivation center agent or dispensing organization agent is also subject to the loss of his or her status for a period of 2-years from the end of the sentence imposed.

Contact Our Cannabis Defense Attorneys

If you have been charged with the illegal possession or transportation of cannabis in a motor vehicle, contact our Illinois criminal defense attorneys today. Our cannabis defense lawyers understand the intricacies of the law and will determine the most effective strategy to achieve the best possible result.

Our legal practice extends throughout Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County. We look forward to hearing from you.

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