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Possession of Marijuana (Cannabis)

The most important factor in a Possession of Marijuana charge is the amount of marijuana present. The penalties can range from drug school or supervision for smaller amounts (less than 30 grams) to probation, conditional discharge or jail time for large quantities. For larger quantities, you will likely be charged with Possession With Intent to Deliver. This is a more serious charge.

For those who have been charged with possession of marijuana, it may be to their benefit to challenge the search that was conducted or the definition of possession. There is always a question of who has possession if there is more than one person in the area and the marijuana is not found on any one person. There is the possibility to challenge the search based on the 4th amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure by police officers. Possession is defined by the facts of each case and should be discussed with a lawyer. There are two types of possession – actual and constructive possession. Actual possession is when it is found on the person. Constructive possession is where you have control of where the marijuana is found, such as your car or home.
Please see the Drug Charges page for more defense strategies when facing a Possession of Marijuana charge.

These are the various misdemeanor and felony charges for possession of marijuana:

  • (720 ILCS 550/4) (from Ch. 56 1/2, par. 704)
  • Sec. 4. It is unlawful for any person knowingly to possess cannabis. Any person who violates this section with respect to:
  • (a) not more than 2.5 grams of any substance containing cannabis is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor;
  • (b) more than 2.5 grams but not more than 10 grams of any substance containing cannabis is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor;
  • (c) more than 10 grams but not more than 30 grams of;
  • any substance containing cannabis is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor; provided, that if any offense under this subsection (c) is a subsequent offense, the offender shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony;
  • (d) more than 30 grams but not more than 500 grams of
  • Any substance containing cannabis is guilty of a Class 4 felony; provided that if any offense under this subsection (d) is a subsequent offense, the offender shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony;
  • (e) more than 500 grams but not more than 2,000 grams
  • of any substance containing cannabis is guilty of a Class 3 felony;
  • (f) more than 2,000 grams but not more than 5,000
  • grams of any substance containing cannabis is guilty of a Class 2 felony;
  • (g) more than 5,000 grams of any substance containing cannabis is guilty of a Class 1 felony.
  • (Source: P.A. 90-397, eff. 8-15-97.)
PeteMichling