When an entire state has less than a year to go from prohibition to recreational cannabis sales, it’s inevitable that confusion will ensue. Even with a thoughtfully-planned legislative bill, there are still some discrepancies in the language that leave room for misinterpretation. And with news stories flying everywhere, false information has found its way onto the internet and the air waves. So we’ve compiled 3 myths about Illinois cannabis legalization. These myths are so pervasive that even your mayor or police chief may be spouting them! ?
Don’t worry, Illinois Cannabis Info has your back. ?
3 Myths About Illinois Cannabis Legalization
Myth 1: Some Illinois Cities Are Banning Cannabis! ?
Cities and counties in Illinois can choose to ban cannabis businesses from operating in their community and choose how much to tax any businesses allowed to operate. These two decisions are being made in town halls across the state leading to widespread stories and discussions about cannabis in communities. This has spurred some people to mistakenly believe that these cities are deciding whether or not to allow recreational cannabis use in city limits.
Even if a city or county bans the sale of cannabis in their limits, though, they cannot make it illegal for an adult to possess or consume cannabis in accordance with state law.
The legalization of recreational cannabis on January 1, 2020 will affect all of Illinois. No matter where you are within the state, if you are 21 or older, you will have the right to purchase cannabis at an authorized dispensary and consume cannabis or cannabis-infused products in private – including in a private residence. Obviously, there are some stipulations to use, but they don’t include whether or not your city allows cannabis sales.
Myth 2: Local Restaurants Are Going To Have Cannabis Smoking Sections! ?
Whoa, whoa whoa! Hold your horses! This isn’t the 1990s; we don’t believe in smoking sections anymore. You’re not going to have to worry about getting a contact high while you scarf down your Big Mac.
The new law does allow for some businesses to allow cannabis consumption on-site. And the writing is hazy enough that it could be very generously misinterpreted; however, there is going to be a trailer bill to fix up little loopholes like this.
(Update: Senate Bill 1557 clarified this section; the following information is current as of 12/11/2019)
So what types of businesses are actually allowed to have on-site consumption?
Tobacco shops and dispensaries will be able to allow cannabis consumption on-site as long as it is approved by the local municipality. As far as we know (please send a news tip if you know otherwise), no local municipalities have approved on-site consumption yet; however, the law does make this option available to communities.
Dispensaries and tobacco shops approved to allow on-site consumption will not legally be considered public places as defined in the Smoke Free Act. It’s notable that this is the first time any state has included this type of provision in cannabis legislation; proponents for cannabis tourism were hopeful that the types of businesses eligible for on-site consumption would be broader, but ultimately, public outcry pushed legislators to limit the types of eligible establishments.
Myth 3: I Can Be Arrested If a Police Officer Sees Me Consuming Cannabis In My Home! ?
Simply not true. No matter where you live, if you are 21 years or older, you will have a legal right to consume cannabis in your private residence on January 1, 2020. You cannot consume cannabis in public places which are defined as places you can reasonably expect to be seen; however, a private residence cannot count as a public place unless it is used for daycare, fostercare, or other licensed care.
Bad news for renters though. Your landlord may reserve the right to disallow cannabis in the unit – though this still needs to be clarified. And property owned by the state (including public housing) will not allow cannabis use.
Help us dispel these and other myths about Illinois cannabis legalization!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post highlighting 3 myths about Illinois cannabis legalization. With so little time before legalization, rumors and misinformation are inevitable. Help us dispel the myths by sharing this article with your family, friends, and community leaders.
Don’t forget, if you are uncertain about something you hear concerning cannabis in Illinois, you can always read the law yourself – or just ask us to look into it for you. We love new story ideas!