Marijuana will soon be legal in Illinois. What does that mean for Iowans? – Des Moines Register


Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation making Illinois the 11th state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana and the second to enact It through the Legislature rather than the ballot box. (June 25) AP, AP

Recreational marijuana will soon be legal across the Mississippi River in Illinois.

On Tuesday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill legalizing the possession and use of marijuana, and expunging the criminal records of people with minor pot possession convictions.

That means adults ages 21 and older — including Iowans visiting the “Land of Lincoln” — will be able to purchase marijuana from licensed sellers and use it while in the state starting Jan. 1, 2020.

Illinois joins 10 other states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Nevada, Vermont and Washington.

Recreational marijuana use remains illegal in Iowa.

Here’s what Iowans should know about the new Illinois law and what it might mean for you:

Most marijuana dispensaries store jars of marijuana flowers. Owners offer brands of marijuana with creative, attention-grabbing names. (Photo: USA Today file photo)

What does the law allow?

Illinois residents will be able to purchase up 1 ounce of raw cannabis as well as cannabis-infused products, such as edibles or tinctures, that contain no more than 500 milligrams of THC, the chemical that makes users high.

Can Iowans buy marijuana in Illinois?

Non-Illinois residents, including Iowans, can purchase and possess half the amount residents are allowed to possess.

Just don’t bring it back across state lines.

The possession and sale of marijuana are still illegal at the federal level as well as in Iowa. Selling marijuana in the state is currently a felony, punishable by up to 50 years in prison.

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