Cannabis, marijuana, grass, weed, pot, Mary Jane… whatever you call it, if you live in or anywhere near the state of Illinois, you are well aware that the drug became legal this past New Year’s Day.
Illinois is the 11th state to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older, (and the first in the country to adopt a regulatory system for cannabis cultivation, testing and sales through a state legislature). But what does that mean? Will the state be stoned from now on?
No. Actually, there are quite a few rules and regulations surrounding lighting one up.
- No public consumption. It’s illegal to use weed in public, schools, parks, government buildings, buses, trains, cars, trucks or near kids. Basically, where anyone can see you. Like even on your front porch.
- High at work? You can be fired. Businesses can let you go under zero-tolerance policies. Bottom line: a positive marijuana result could end your employment.
- Unless you’re a medical marijuana patient, you can’t grow it at home. (If you are, you can grow up to five plants per patient in a private, locked area).
- You can be busted with an OWI for driving high. Erratic driving and failing a field sobriety test will do you in.
- No buying it from the dude on the corner. Only licensed stores can legally sell weed.
- Anti-pot property owners like landlords and businesses can put the kibosh on weed on their premises. In fact, there are entire suburbs that have banned licensed stores to sell within their borders.
- It’ll cost you if you’re found using it where you’re not supposed to - $50 the first time and $100 the next time within the following 30 days.
- Younger than 21? No pot for you. If you’re caught sneaking into a weed shop you could have your driver’s license suspended and be charged with a class A misdemeanor.
Traveling to a state where it’s not legal? Leave it at home unless you want drug-sniffing dogs to greet you as you deplane. O’Hare International Airport has your back with its Cannabis Amnesty Box.
If you want to know more about what’s on the minds of employers in Illinois, download our helpful Q&A.