Facts Regarding Legal Recreational Marijuana Effective Jan. 1, 2020

On June 25, 2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed bill 1438 into law, making Illinois the 11th state to legalize the sale and use of recreational marijuana.

Under the new law effective Jan. 1, 2020, Illinois residents over the age of 21 can legally possess:
– 30 grams of cannabis flower
– 5 grams of cannabis concentrate (oil)
– 500 milligrams of THC in cannabis-infused products (edibles)


Illinois already has a law on the books that makes drivers with THC blood concentration of five nanograms or more per milliliter guilty of driving under the influence, regardless of whether the driver is impaired. The new law creates a DUI Task Force led by Illinois State Police to examine best practices for roadside testing.

It is illegal to operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana. Nothing in state law prevents the arrest or prosecution of an individual for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana. Anyone who refuses a properly requested test related to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana can face criminal charges.

Legal recreational marijuana does not mean that it’s legal in the workplace or public places. You can be fired from your job for your off-the-clock use of marijuana. Under federal law, the use of marijuana is illegal and the employer has the right to prohibit it.

All public employees that are susceptible to random drug testing – or any type of drug testing (i.e. after an accident) – should understand that the employer still has the right to terminate employment if a drug test comes back positive. The legal recreational marijuana law does not supersede federal law.

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