Cannabis Laws: What The Public Should Know

Starting January 1st, 2020 marijuana, otherwise known as weed, cannabis and a litany of other street names will be legalized in Illinois. Before people start indulging in the once forbidden fruit, the public should know a few things about cannabis laws. Where you can buy it, how much you can buy, and the laws surrounding where and when you can consume it may not be fully realized by the public. Similar to alcohol, marijuana will be legal to consume for those over 21 years of age, but there will be penalties for misuse and abuse. In order to lawfully consume this product, follow the guidelines below and know the law. 

General Rules For Purchasing

Despite the new cannabis laws, some municipalities have chosen not to participate in the sale of marijuana. Those who wish to partake but don’t know where to go, here is a helpful list. Once you are in a shop, you’ll need a valid ID to prove your age. A person can legally purchase up to 30 grams of marijuana, just over an ounce (28 grams). Additionally, a person can purchase up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, like hash oil, and up to a half gram of THC infused in other products, such as edibles. It’s important to note that people from outside the state can still purchase marijuana with a valid ID, however, they can only carry half the amounts listed above. No one from out of state, or in-state traveling to other states, should take marijuana from Illinois to surrounding states where it is not legal. 

Where You Can And Cannot Consume

Although weed will be legalized in Illinois, public use is still illegal for the most part. Right now cannabis laws state that people can consume weed on a private residence, however, even that is up for debate. The city of Chicago has had some back and forth between what the law regarding cannabis states and how it will be enforced.

Laws state those caught consuming cannabis products on their front porch, backyard, or on a balcony can still be ticketed. Yet, the Mayor and interim police superintendent have stated that police should not enforce that part of the laws strictly, but it remains to be seen. For now, folks should stick to staying on their property or a private residence when consuming cannabis product, and not drive while high. 

Driving While High

Before you get behind the wheel after consuming weed products, consider that it is dangerous and illegal. While many associate DUI’s exclusively with alcohol, driving while high will land you a DUI. Similar to drinking, a person should wait at least an hour, but more if needed, before getting behind the wheel after consuming pot. Since cannabis laws are still new, there will be plenty of police looking out for impaired drivers. People should think twice about smoking before or while in their vehicle, even if they are not driving. The smell of weed is quite distinct, lingers, and sometimes sets into the interior and ventilation of the car. This makes the car smell like weed regardless of when you smoked in there, which gives the police a reason to believe you are driving impaired, even if you are not. 


  • Recreational cannabis sale and use will begin January 1st, 2020 for those 21 years and older
  • Illinoisans may purchase up to 30 grams of flower, 5 grams of concentrate, and half a gram of THC in products. 
    • Out of state consumers may purchase half these amounts.
  • You can consume cannabis on private residences only
  • Driving high is considered a DUI. 
  • Please consume responsibly, and know your limit