Can I Smoke Weed and Drive?

Now that marijuana is legal in Illinois, you may have lots of questions regarding the legalization of cannabis in this state. While there are lots of excited people about the states decision to make it okay to have weed in possession, there are still rules and regulations to what’s allowed in the state. People have this notion that we can smoke wherever, whenever. This is not that case folks! And it must be noted that smoking marijuana requires responsibility!

What does it do?

Let’s first dive into what marijuana actually does to your body. Marijuana contains many cannabinoids and THC. THC is a component of the plant which activates psychoactivity in the brain. This causes your brain to change it’s mood, cognition, or perception. There are pros and cons to cannabis as there is to any other drugs whether used medicinally or not. 

These some of the things that can happen to your body if you take in cannabis:

  • Heighten your senses
  • Distorted sense of time
  • Impair your motor skills
  • Hard to remember things
  • Lungs or throat may hurt
  • May ease chronic pain
  • Can help with loss of appetite
  • May help with Epilepsy
  • Ease anxiety
  • Can help you sleep better
  • Intensifies alcohol blood level

Here are some questions that you may have regarding Cannabis. Let’s take a closer look into what Illinois does and doesn’t allow. 

When was weed legalized?

Weed became legal on January 1, 2020. 

Who can buy marijuana?

Anyone over the age of 21 can buy weed legally from a licensed seller with or without a medical marijuana card. 

Can I sell marijuana?

Only licensed medical dispensaries can sell Cannabis. Somewhere around the middle of 2020, Illinois will allow licenses to new stores, processors, cultivators, and transporters to legally sell cannabis. 

Around 300 stores are projected to potentially be in operation to sell marijuana by the year 2022. Essentially government officials will determine who will be opening up in their area.

How much weed can I possess?

An individual can possess 30 grams or 1 ounce of cannabis flower. For cannabis concentrate, the maximum amount allowed is 5 grams. And for edibles, tinctures, only 500 milligrams can be possessed.

Where can I smoke Marijuana?

Smoking marijuana is allowed only in own home or on-site in some cannabis related business. But you must first find out if that is permitted on premises. 

It is NOT allowed in the following:

  • Any public space such as the streets or parks
  • In motor vehicles
  • On school grounds (except medical users)
  • Near someone that is under 21
  • Near an on duty police officer, firefighter, bus driver, or correctional officer

Any private business or university can ban the use of marijuana use on their property. 

Can I grow marijuana?

Yes and no. Non-patients are not allowed to grow marijuana. And if you are caught, there is a $200 fine for up to 5 plants. Patients can grow up to 5 plants. 

Only Illinois existing licensed medical marijuana cultivation facilities will be permitted to grow marijuana. Later on in the year of 2020, Illinois will allow “craft growers” to apply to grow up to 5,000 square feet of cannabis.

How much tax will be applied?

Depending on the THC amount, the tax will vary. 

If more that 35% of THC, 10% sales tax is applied. Any cannabis infused product, such as edibles, tinctures, or bath bombs will incur a 20% sales tax. And if it contains more than 35% TCH, a 25% sales tax is applied. 

Each municipality and county are able to control any additional sales taxes. 

Not to mention, if you don’t think we are being taxed enough, then get this. There will also be a 7% gross receipts tax from cultivators and dispensaries. Some dispensaries raise their product prices to include that 7% gross receipts tax. 

What about driving under the influence of Marijuana?

First, it is STUPID to smoke and drive. Marijuana impairs motor skills and causes paranoia. So let me put this out there, if you are smoking and driving, you are being irresponsible and can hurt yourself and others. 

Drivers with THC blood concentration of 5 nanograms or more per milliliter are guilty of driving under the influence. It doesn’t matter if you are impaired or not, the law states it is considered a DUI. Roadside testing will be examined by Illinois state police.