Even though individuals in Illinois can now purchase marijuana from licensed dealers, grow up to five plants on private property, and own up to 30 grams of marijuana, it is still illegal to privately sell marijuana or own it with the intent to deliver. Illinois has not relaxed its penalties for drug crimes that involve marijuana, and, if anything, prosecutors tend to go after these cases more harshly now. If you have been charged with unlawful marijuana possession, it is important to take these charges seriously and contact a criminal defense attorney right away.
Why Is Delivering Marijuana Privately Still Illegal?
Whether you view the restriction of private marijuana sales as a cynical tax grab or the state of Illinois simply protecting its citizens from unsafe substances, private marijuana sales are still illegal. Even selling a small amount to a friend or possessing an otherwise legal amount with the intent to sell it is illegal.
How Can Police Prove I Was Planning to Sell Marijuana?
While you may be tempted to simply argue that you owned the marijuana legally without intending to sell it, the strength of the prosecution’s case against you will depend on what other objects were found with the marijuana. It would be difficult to argue that you were sorting marijuana into small plastic bags weighing exactly an eighth of a gram for your own personal use. Having a drug scale, large amounts of cash in your home, or a person testifying that they were going to buy marijuana from you could also bolster the state’s case.
What Are the Consequences of Unlawful Possession With the Intent to Deliver?
The exact charges and the potential penalties will depend not only on the amount of marijuana you had in your possession but on your criminal history as well. If you had less than two and a half grams of marijuana, you may only be facing a Class B misdemeanor, up to $1,500 in fines, and up to 180 days in jail and a judge may be more lenient if it is your first offense. If you had more than 5,000 grams of marijuana, you could be hit with a Class X felony, spend up to 30 years in prison, and pay up to $150,000 in fines.
Charges for unlawful possession with intent to deliver are clearly not something to mess around with. Do not mistake more lenient recreational marijuana laws for the chance that you might get a lighter sentence. Protect your rights and your future by hiring an attorney who can help you fight the charges against you.
Speak with a Joliet Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested for growing, owning, or selling marijuana illegally, contact a Will County criminal defense attorney with McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC. We will aggressively fight your charges and work hard to create a strong case against the prosecution. Contact us as soon as possible at 815-727-0100 to schedule your free initial consultation.