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Can marijuana possession be a felony in Illinois?

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2021 | Criminal defense | 0 comments

Although marijuana has been legal in Illinois for over a year, legalization has not eliminated marijuana-related crime. Whether the subsequent charges are due to a misunderstanding of the new provision or a disregard for the potential consequences, there are still incidents concerning the substance.

Recently, investigators seized over 90 pounds of marijuana and other substances in a Rockford drug bust. The massive drug bust leads to the question of how much marijuana could lead to a felony charge in Illinois.

Here’s what you should know about illegal amounts of marijuana in Illinois.

Levels of felonies

When it comes to possession of marijuana, it does not take much to go from misdemeanor to felony and beyond. As could be the case for the suspects in Rockford, merely possessing more than 10 pounds could lead to a charge of a Class X felony.

When legislators passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, they made allowances for possession of marijuana for personal use, allowing for residents to carry up to 2.5 grams of the substance before a risk of criminal charges.

Intent to distribute

The additional challenge with large amounts of illegal substances is the potential for the intent to distribute. While you may argue that you have a significant quantity for your personal use, investigators and prosecutors tend to see the matter differently.

Often, rather than giving the benefit of the doubt, an officer will see someone carrying a more significant quantity as someone planning to distribute marijuana outside the guidelines in the Illinois rules.