HB-1 redefines marijuana regulation in Illinois

While lawmakers across the nation continue to weigh the merits and caveats regarding legalization of recreational marijuana outside of Colorado and Washington, recently proposed legislation introduced to the state of Illinois, known as HB-1, seeks to regulate access to the drug among prescription patients as a controlled substance, and redefine penalties for drug use throughout the state for illicit and legal users alike.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project Organization, the bill, signed into law by Illinois state governor Pat Quinn in August 2013 and effective as of the first of this year, is a pilot program created out of the necessity to relieve the state’s seriously ill population.

There are wide ranging legal implications posed by these changes, and it is important for citizens everywhere to be informed of their legal rights and obligations when finding themselves introduced to situations or environments in which marijuana is involved. Under HB-1, registered patients are afforded certain protections from arrest under the law, but are also strictly regulated in relation to possession and location of use. It is important to note that use of marijuana is still considered a crime under federal law.

Just because you are not a marijuana user does not mean these laws do not impact you. As a motorist, and a taxpayer, you should be keenly aware and well-informed of current drug laws relating to the trafficking and distribution of this drug in your state. This will help insure you make the best decisions possible and avoid any unwarranted drug charges that could potentially impact your reputation, your health or your future.