The issue of legalized marijuana, whether specifically for medicinal purposes, or generally for recreation, has been a controversial subject for decades. Ever since Colorado took that first step towards decriminalizing pot, states have been stepping up to the plate and changing their laws to accommodate people’s desire for less regulated weed. And the state of Illinois just joined the ranks as the 11th state to decriminalize marijuana.
What do the new pot laws in Illinois allow?
Illinois’ Governor, J.B. Pritzker, recently signed a bill that permits residents of the state to purchase and possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis at a time, and non-residents up to 15 grams. Like Michigan, this right is only available to people over the age of 21, however, Illinois law requires that the purchase be made through a state-licensed dispensary.
So how is this change going to change things for Michigan?
In many ways, it won’t change anything. However, there are a few things that you need to remember when making travel choices, and when leaving Michigan.
1. We’re not neighbors…
Illinois may have legalized recreational weed, just like Michigan, but between here and there is the state of Indiana, where recreational pot is NOT legal! In fact, Indiana law explicitly exempts CBD (cannabidiol) products containing less than 0.3 percent THC from the state’s criminal definition of marijuana. So while it’s legal to possess and sell CBD oil in accordance with applicable Indiana licensing laws, that’s it! Everything else in that state will get you a one-way trip to the local jail. So don’t think you can buy weed in Michigan and take it with you to Illinois.
2. Federal law hasn’t changed!
The states around us (with the exception of Wisconsin) have all updated their marijuana laws in some capacity in recent years. But just because something is legal here in Michigan, and legal in a neighboring or nearby state, like Ohio or Indiana, doesn’t mean you can go back and forth across state lines with marijuana. Federal law still prohibits transporting any federally restricted substance across state lines, and weed just happens to be a Schedule I drug on the Controlled Substances Act,right up there with heroin and LSD. (And since the feds still imprison more people for weed-related crimes than any other drug, just know they take this stuff very seriously!) In fact under federal law, mere possession of weed is a crime.
3. ‘Close enough’ counts when it comes to the feds.
While it’s unlikely that you’re ever going to encounter federal agents luring around on the Michigan borders, waiting for someone to cross the state lines with weed, that certainly doesn’t apply to that other border we share – that’s right, Canada! But did you know, you fall within the federal jurisdiction without even crossing the border! That’s right! You don’t even have to cross the border to get into trouble – simply entering the border crossing zone is enough to get the feds involved. And when it comes to weed, that’s a very bad thing!
Michigan still has strict drug laws for everything else!
Don’t be fooled. Just because Michigan has taken a more lenient stance on the issue of marijuana, it doesn’t mean anything else has changed. Drugs are still illegal in the eyes of the law, and you can get into a lot of trouble for owning, buying, selling, or taking illegal drugs in Michigan! Make sure, if you end up in any drug-related trouble with the cops, that you call 866 766 5245 (1 866 7NoJail) and get help from The Kronzek Firm. Our aggressive drug crime defense attorneys are standing by to fight for you.