After legalization in January, the possession of marijuana is now mostly legal across Illinois. Even though the Illinois Criminal Code changed the nature of possession crimes, many other marijuana crimes remain largely the same. For example, any person who distributes marijuana or engages in cannabis trafficking is guilty of a crime. To understand exactly what this means, the following sections will explore marijuana distribution and trafficking crimes under Illinois law.
The Illinois laws against marijuana distribution appear under 720 ILCS 550/5. Outside of approved and licensed exceptions, this section makes it unlawful to knowingly distribute or manufacture marijuana. Section 5 also prohibits any person from possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute or manufacture.
The punishment for a violation of Section 5 changes based on the amount of marijuana in question. It does not matter whether a person distributed marijuana or merely possessed the substance with intent to distribute. For example, unlawful distribution of:
- 2.5 grams or less — Class B misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of six months and up to $1,500 in fines;
- 2.5-10 grams — Class A misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of 364 days and up to $2,500 in fines;
- 10-30 grams — Class 4 felony with a maximum prison sentence of three years and up to $25,000 in fines;
- 30-500 grams — Class 3 felony with a maximum prison sentence of five years and up to $50,000 in fines;
- 500-2,000 grams — Class 2 felony with a maximum prison sentence of seven years and up to $100,000 in fines;
- 2,000-5,000 grams — Class 1 felony with a maximum prison sentence of 15 years and up to $150,000 in fines; or
- More than 5,000 grams — Class X felony with a maximum prison sentence of 30 years and up to $200,000 in fines.
The Illinois laws against marijuana trafficking appear under 720 ILCS 550/5.1. Outside of approved and licensed exceptions, this section makes it unlawful to knowingly bring marijuana into the State of Illinois for distribution or manufacture. The threshold for trafficking crimes is 2,500 grams of marijuana or more.
The punishment for a violation of Section 5.1 changes based on the amount of marijuana in question. Furthermore, trafficking crimes have twice the standard fines and prison terms as for distribution crimes. For example, trafficking of:
- 2,500-5,000 grams — Class 1 felony with a maximum prison sentence of 30 years and up to $300,000 in fines; or
- More than 5,000 grams — Class X felony with a maximum prison sentence of 60 years and up to $400,000 in fines.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.