Cannabis in Illinois

Cannabis in Illinois is illegal for recreational use, but is permitted for medical use, and possession of small amounts is decriminalized.

Prohibition (1931)

In 1931, Illinois prohibited recreational use of cannabis, as part of a nationwide trend across 29 states in the early 20th century.[1]

Cannabis Control Act (1978)

Illinois passed the Cannabis Control Act in 1978, which technically allows for medical marijuana. However, in order for it to become an actuality, action is required from two state departments—Human Services and the State Police—neither of which has taken action.[2][3]

Medical cannabis (2013)

The Illinois General Assembly passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act in 2013.[4] The law legalizes the use of medical cannabis in tightly controlled circumstances.[5] In August 2013, Governor Patrick Quinn signed into law the state's medical marijuana program, which would take effect on January 1. making it the 20th state to do so.[6]

"Legally registered patients" may, with a prescription from a medical caregiver, apply for an ID card that allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The law lists over 30 specific medical conditions that may be legally treated using cannabis, and allows the Department of Public Health to add other conditions to the list via administrative rulemaking. Applications for patients, growers, and vendors began in September 2014.[7]

Decriminalization (2016)

In July 2016, Illinois reduced punishment for under 10 grams of cannabis to a $100–200 fine, rather than a misdemeanor as previously. The law also sets the requirement for DWI at 5 nanograms of THC in the blood.[8][9]


  1. Also from Bruce Rushton (2012-02-09). "The war on weed". Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  2. "Medical Marijuana Is Already Legal in Illinois".
  3. "720 ILCS 550/ Cannabis Control Act.".
  4. "Medical Cannabis Pilot Program". Illinois Department of Agriculture. 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  5. Johnson, Carla K. (January 21, 2014). "Illinois Medical Marijuana Rules Unveiled". NBC Universal Media. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  6. "Illinois governor to sign medical marijuana bill today". 2013-08-02. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  7. Illinois Department of Agriculture.
  8. "Rauner reduces punishment for minor pot possession from jail to citation". Chicago Tribune. 2016-07-29. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  9. "Illinois is latest state to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.". July 30, 2016.
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