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Can I Get Arrested for Having Legal Cannabis in My Car?

 Posted on October 19, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Joliet drugged driving defense lawyerAdult residents of Illinois are now permitted to possess and use cannabis for medical or recreational purposes. THC products are generally regulated similarly to the manner in which alcohol is regulated. These regulations control how people in Illinois can handle and use cannabis. A few important rules include those governing how cannabis may be transported in a vehicle. Most Illinois residents know that they cannot drive with an open beer or glass of wine in their cupholders, as allowing people to do so would make it very easy for drivers to become intoxicated while behind the wheel. 

Similar open-container rules apply to cannabis. Even if you are not actively under its influence, you could be charged with a misdemeanor drug offense for having open and accessible containers of THC products in your vehicle. You can also be charged with a DUI for driving after using cannabis based on the concentration of THC in your body. If you are charged for possessing cannabis in a vehicle or driving under the influence of cannabis, it is important to secure legal representation as soon as possible. 

Understanding Illinois’ Cannabis Transportation Laws

Certainly, there are legal manners in which an Illinois resident can lawfully transport their legal cannabis products in a vehicle after visiting a licensed dispensary just as there are legal ways to drive home with liquor store purchases. However, the law aims to prevent a situation where people could be using cannabis inside a moving vehicle. A driver who is under the influence of cannabis generally cannot drive safely, as they will likely experience effects such as slowed reaction time. 

It is unlawful in the state of Illinois to transport cannabis in certain manners. First, drivers may not consume cannabis in their vehicles. This is to prevent intoxicated driving. 

To legally transport THC products, they must be contained properly. This means that these products must be in a container that is sealed or resealable. For example, it would not be legal to transport an open bag of THC gummies. However, if the bag is unopened, it may be acceptable to have in a vehicle. This law applies equally to drivers and passengers.

Containers must also be odor-proof and child-resistant. If your vehicle smells of cannabis, you are more likely to be accused of driving under the influence or using it in the car. The products must also be in an area of the vehicle that is inaccessible. Generally, the best place to store cannabis is in the trunk of your vehicle. However, if you drive a pickup truck or another vehicle without trunk space that is usable for this purpose, cannabis should be stored out of your reach. 

If you are accused of a cannabis-related crime, finding a criminal defense attorney should be a top priority for you. 

Call a Will County Drug Crimes and DUI Defense Lawyer

McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC is experienced in defending those who have been accused of cannabis-related crimes including DUI. Our skilled Joliet drug crime and DUI attorneys will strive to minimize the impact of your charge and may be able to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Call 815-727-0100 for a free consultation. 





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