Where Will I be Able To Smoke Marijuana In Illinois?
That’s a really good question. You can smoke it in your own home, you can smoke it anywhere you want, but if you are sitting in your car and smoking it, you can’t do that anymore than you can sit and drink a beer in your car. I would probably say that anywhere that it’s safe to drink alcohol in your car, it’s safe to smoke marijuana in your car. Keep in mind that the minute you drive away and someone smells pot in your car, then you’ve got a chance of getting a pot DUI, so you have to be very careful with that. I’d say you can smoke in the privacy of your own home, of course.
Most places in Illinois now prohibit smoking or vaping of any type in restaurants and public places. In government buildings such as courthouses or post offices it will absolutely be forbidden. You have to be very careful. This is something where everybody should tread lightly till we figure out what the laws are and how they will be enforced. The black letter of the law is one thing and how it is going to be enforced is something else.
Can Prior Marijuana Possession Convictions Be Removed from My Record Based On The New Laws?
It will depend on what the conviction was for. It is my belief that under the new law, if they were simple possessions, those will be expunge-able and you will be able to get those off your record. If they are possessions with intent to deliver or if they are possessions for a felony amount, they are going to be scrutinized much more carefully. If it’s a possession with intent to deliver say, 10-30 grams, will that still qualify as a felony? I believe you’ll still be able to get that expunged but we are waiting to see how they are going to apply that. For now, it looks like the state will make easier to expunge; I don’t know if the state will take the bull by the horns and do it themselves although other states have done that.
It’s ridiculous that it was treated like a harsh drug, which it never was. Again, what’s in the law and how they are going to apply it are two different things. Stay tuned for part 2, because we don’t know yet. Maybe in a couple of months, I’ll have a second episode on this and I’ll be able to tell you not only what the law is but how it is enforced in fact. That’s what you have to know to protect yourself and avoid getting arrested and avoid losing your driver’s license and so on. As of right now, I don’t think they are going to allow non-residents to buy it, like they do in Colorado. In Colorado you can just come on in and take it but you’d better be careful what state you are going into. The neighboring states may be waiting for you at the border to check if you have any.
As far as I am aware, it’s not going to be legal to transport it on an airplane. You may want to take it with you on vacation, but you are certainly not going to be able to take anything on the plane where you will be able to get to it. Even in your luggage, at the moment I think it’s still prohibited. Federally, it’s still prohibited. You’d better be careful transporting it so you don’t get a charge for transporting drugs across state lines. If you try to say it’s just a vape cartridge, you are going to be the one in jail complaining about it.
You need to be careful, because it’s still a federal offense. This has been the Pandora’s box of the whole thing. Colorado has had legal marijuana for years and it has balanced the budget and everything. They realized that this isn’t the gateway drug to heroin that everybody was so scared of, but federally it was still illegal. They came in and shut down a lot of the grow places. For a while, the federal government was enforcing laws against marijuana in Colorado even though Colorado said it was legal in their state. That created a lot of problems. Just don’t do it until it’s clear, because if you take it somewhere else with you, you are going to have problems – especially if it’s been opened.
How Will These New Laws Impact Ongoing Marijuana Possession Cases?
I believe that as soon as January 1st comes around, they are going to apply the new law to all pending cases just to be fair to people and they are going to dismiss those cases. As I said before, we had one in one of our local courtrooms this week and they dismissed it outright when it was still nominally a misdemeanor. The change is coming, but we’ll see in a couple of weeks how will it be applied.
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