Illinois Marijuana Laws – What You Need To Know

On January 1, 2020, Illinois made recreational marijuana legal. However, there are still many rules and laws governing the use of marijuana in Illinois. If you do not know these laws, you could be on the wrong side of a criminal charge.

Some important Illinois marijuana laws to remember include:

  • Municipalities can add additional restrictions for smoking marijuana in their jurisdiction
  • You must be over 21 years old to purchase marijuana 
  • It is not legal to smoke or consume cannabis in public in Chicago
  • It is also illegal to consume marijuana or cannabis in a vehicle, regardless of whether it is moving or sitting still
  • Individuals cannot operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of medical or recreational marijuana 
  • There are restrictions for the amount of marijuana you can possess, such as 30 grams of cannabis for an Illinois resident and 15 grams of cannabis for a non-resident 
  • You must keep cannabis in a child-resistant container and inaccessible to everyone in the car if you are transporting cannabis, such as driving home after purchasing marijuana at a dispensary
  • Medical patients can grow marijuana at home, up to five cannabis plants for recreational use
  • Non-medical patients cannot grow marijuana at home
  • It is illegal to smoke marijuana while riding a bicycle

You could face several other drug charges for having marijuana, even if it is legal now. For example, if you have more than the maximum amount of marijuana in your possession, you could be charged with drug trafficking or intent to distribute.

Therefore, you must be careful when using recreational or medical marijuana in Chicago. If you break Illinois marijuana laws, you could face high fines and significant jail time for a conviction, depending on the charges filed against you. 

For example, the penalty for having 30 to 200g of marijuana in your possession is a misdemeanor with a potential jail sentence. A subsequent offense is a felony that carries up to three years in prison. 

What Happens if I Cause a Car Accident After Smoking Marijuana in Chicago, Illinois?

You could be arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana. In addition to the DUI, you could also be charged with other crimes, depending on the circumstances. For example, if someone died because of the crash, you could charged with reckless homicide or worse.

A DUI marijuana accident can also result in civil penalties. The individuals injured in the auto accident can sue you for economic and non-economic damages. If they win and your car insurance does not cover the total claim amount, you could be personally liable for the remaining balance.

Proving Fault in a DUI Marijuana Accident Case in Chicago, IL

Typically, you must prove that the other driver caused the accident to win a car accident case, including crashes caused by a driver under the influence of marijuana. The driver must have been negligent in causing the crash, such as failing to yield the right of way or speeding.

However, because the driver was breaking the law at the time of the accident, you might use negligence per se to prove your case. The driver is presumed to have breached their duty of care and is negligent as a matter of law. Negligence per se can help with car accident cases that do not have a lot of evidence proving the other driver was negligent. 

A Chicago car accident lawyer can review your case during a free consultation and explain your legal options for recovering damages. 

What Types of Damages Could a Victim Receive for a DUI Marijuana Accident in Chicago?

Car accident victims in Illinois can sue the at-fault driver for compensation of their economic damages. These damages represent the monetary losses and expenses incurred because of the DUI marijuana accident.

Examples of economic damages for a DUI marijuana accident include:

  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Rehabilitative therapy
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Help with personal care and household chores
  • Reduction in future earning capacity

Victims can also pursue claims for non-economic damages. The damages could include:

  • Disabilities and impairments
  • Emotional distress
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement 
  • Physical pain and suffering

DUI cases may also result in awards of punitive damages. These damages punish defendants for gross negligence, intentional torts, and extreme recklessness. The punitive damages are awarded because of the defendant’s conduct, but the injured parties receive the money.

A Chicago car accident lawyer can help you see maximum compensation or injuries if a drugged driver causes your car accident in Chicago. 

Contact Our Chicago Personal Injury Law Firm For Help Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Chicago, Illinois, and need legal help, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We proudly serve Cook County and its surrounding areas:

Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers
134 N La Salle St #2160
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (312) 929-2884