Is Weed Legal in Illinois?

If you’re part of the demographic who are looking to find the answer to – is weed legal in Illinois, then you’re just in the right article! We will be giving you complete and comprehensive detail about the legalization of weed in the state of Illinois, as well as several factors and components about it.

Right before we dive right in, let’s go ahead and proceed with the discussion of the state’s history in cannabis.

Illinois Cannabis History


If you’ve been following the world of cannabis for quite some time, then, by now, you should be aware of how extremely complex the journey is. Try naming a state that did not go through a series of ups and downs, you can’t.

Like with any other state, Illinois actually underwent different types of rules, regulations, and changes in its legalization, leading up to where it is today. Let’s briefly tackle the history of the marijuana substance (as a plant and as substance) in the state!

The 1931 Prohibition

The first-ever update the state had when it comes to their connection to marijuana was in 1931 when they started prohibiting the use and consumption of cannabis. This was a part of a countrywide trend in which 29 states followed.

Then, in 1978, the state passed the Cannabis Control Act. This was what technically allowed the use of medical marijuana for people who were in dire need of it. The passing of the bill was not the actuality and in order for it to be, the State Police and the Human Services need to act upon it.

The next update regarding this will come after a few decades when the state realized how good an alternative cannabis can be for certain types of patients and medication.

Allowance of Medical Marijuana in Illinois

Allowance of Medical Marijuana in Illinois

It was in 2013 when the state of Illinois through the Illinois General Assembly passed the MCPP or the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. This law was the one responsible for helping legalize the use of medical cannabis in certain circumstances.

The law, initially, listed a total of 30 qualifying medical conditions all of which have been legally seen to be treated by cannabis effectively.

But what about recreational marijuana? Is it allowed or legal in the state of Illinois?

Is Weed Legal in Illinois?

The question still stands – and a lot of people are still hanging on the edge of their seats for it. But, to give you a straight and concise answer, yes, marijuana is legal in Illinois!

I’m not just talking about the simple type of medical marijuana, but recreational marijuana possession, and consumption, too! Cultivation has a different edge to it, but, we’ll discuss it as well!

Decriminalization of Cannabis in Illinois

Decriminalization of Cannabis in Illinois

The decriminalization of the marijuana substance in the state of Illinois took place on July 2016. After its decriminalization, the state reduced the punishment set for possession. Previously, this was a misdemeanor, which means at least one (1) full year of jail time.

Medical Cannabis

Medical Cannabis

Even though 2013 was the year the MCPP was enacted, it wasn’t until November 2015 when dispensaries started to serve medical marijuana patients. In 2016, the clause extended to include terminal illness and post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD as part of the qualifying conditions.

2 years after that, the state really embraced the benefits and profits of the substance as they started offering it in schools and other areas you won’t expect.

Recreational Cannabis

Recreational Cannabis

Following the year it was legalized, lawmakers in the state started sending proposals for legalizing the recreational use of the substance. As per the legislature, people could:

  • Possess or carry up to 28 grams or 1 oz of cannabis
  • Grow up to five (5) plants

This would go on; however, no follow-up action would happen and it would sit around until 2019 when it will be approved for recreational use. The Illinois General Assembly then submitted and passed Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act to allow the usage of recreational marijuana; it will then be signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker on the 25th of June, 2019.

Due to this, around 700,000 Illinois residents were expunged from previous convictions due to marijuana.

The first day of marijuana legalization was kind of a world-record. Illinoisans spent nearly $3.5 million in legal sales across the entire state. Mind-blowing, right?

However, just because it has been decriminalized and announced legal, doesn’t mean that you get everything connected to it – that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. There are still limitations and the fact that it has already begun its legalization mean that it’s going to be controlled.

What Are Marijuana-Related Penalties in Illinois?

Now that we’ve finished talking about the legalities, let’s look over to the penalties, fines, and punishments involved when you possess or carry, sale or deliver, or even cultivate marijuana in Illinois.

The possession of 30 grams or less, whether you are a medical patient or not is considered fully legal. No penalties, incarceration, or fines involved. Going more than 30 grams but less than 100 grams, however, is considered misdemeanor, which would incur a single year of jail time with a $2,500 fine.

Over 100 grams is considered felony with respective incarceration timeframes and all with a maximum fine of $25,000.

The sale, delivery, or trafficking of the substance of 2.5 grams to 10 grams is considered misdemeanor. 2.5 grams or less would have a 6-month imprisonment with a $1,500-fine, while going over 2.5 grams but less than 10 grams would be a year of incarceration and a $2,500-fine.

Lastly, the cultivation or growing of marijuana for registered medical cannabis patients is legal if they have five (5) plants or less in their private property. Should you not be a medical cannabis patient, you’ll have a violation with a $200-fine.

Don’t worry if you’re left with a ton of questions in mind – we tried looking for the most frequently asked questions about the relationship of Illinois and cannabis!

Is it Legal to Smoke Weed in Illinois?

Yes, it is legal to smoke and consume weed in the state of Illinois, given that you are smoking on either a private property or locations that have on-premises consumption licenses. You can’t smoke publicly, especially if you are within the vicinity of a school, a day care, or a healthcare site.

Is Weed Legal in Illinois Without a Medical Card?

Yes, you can purchase and consume marijuana in Illinois even if you are not a medical marijuana cardholder. You just have to ensure that you’ll be purchasing within the settled amounts and that you would obey and live by the rules and regulations set by the state.

Final Verdict

So, what are your thoughts? Is weed legal in Illinois? Do you think Illinois is a state that you’ll be able to live in and answer your cannabis needs? Before you jump on a plane to visit Illinois and you’re planning to bring your green buddy with you, go back to this guide out first – you might just save yourself from a lot of headache!

Christopher Andrews
I am Christopher Andrew, the owner of 420 Expert Adviser. I have been in cannabis cultivation for more than ten years, and I'm sharing my experience with you guys using this blog!

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