What is the law on marijuana in Illinois?

Arguably, the most popular recreational drug in the US (not including alcohol) is marijuana. Yet it still remains illegal, or at the very least decriminalized for most of us. While medical marijuana is legal in Illinois, that will be covered in a separate article.

Here are some of the most common questions my office gets in regards to marijuana:

1. Can I possess any amount of marijuana?

No. Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, as well as under Illinois law. However, it has been decriminalized, meaning the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana are no longer criminal offenses. They do still carry some consequences though, typically a fine; similar to a parking ticket.

You may possess 10 grams or less of marijuana, and it will only be a fine of between $100-200.

If you possess marijuana in the 10-30 gram range, it is now elevated to a Class B misdemeanor.

If you possess marijuana in the 30-100 gram range, it is now elevated to a Class A misdemeanor.

If you possess marijuana in the 100-500 gram range, this possession turns into a Class 4 felony.

Possession in the 500-2000 gram range is a Class 3 felony.

Possession in the 2000-5000 range is a Class 2 felony.

Lastly, possession above 5000 grams is considered a Class 1 felony.

2. What are the penalties for selling marijuana?

The penalties for selling marijuana vary greatly depending on the amount you are attempting to sell, as indicated by the similar structure listed above.

Minimally, it is a Class B misdemeanor for less than 2.5 grams and the worst offenders selling over 5000 grams can be charged with a Class X felony.

Furthermore, if you are engaged in selling marijuana with 2 or more other people, your charge can be elevated to cannabis conspiracy.

3. Marijuana is legal in several States, can I travel there and bring some back?

No. This would be covered under the same penalties as section 1. Just because it is legal where you bought it, does not make it legal here. Charges of possession are based on where you are caught possessing it, which in Illinois is still illegal or decriminalized.

Furthermore, if you are caught trying to bring in large amounts of weed from other states to sell, Illinois law explicitly prohibits this, known as trafficking; and it carries heavy penalties.

4. Can I grow marijuana plants in my home or on my property?

No. Any amount of marijuana cultivation is illegal under Illinois law. Specifically, 5 plants or less is a Class A misdemeanor; while more than 200 plants is a Class 1 felony. The amount of plants grown carries a very similar penalty structure as possession.


As you can see, possession of marijuana in even moderate amounts can lead to some significant consequences in Illinois. It is important to recognize the risk that possession of marijuana carries with it. If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, plants, paraphernalia, or trafficking; you need to speak with an attorney who is familiar with Illinois law to protect your rights. Contact our office today for a free consultation with any drug charges you may be facing.

Disclaimer: This article is made available by the publisher for educational purposes only, as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the publisher’s interpretation of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. This information may not reflect the law in your jurisdiction. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the publisher. All information in this article is the opinion of the publisher and may not reflect future developments in this field. This website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.