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Illinois Marijuana Decriminalization and Car Accidents

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents


Until recently, the possession of marijuana was an offense that resulted in jail time in the state of Illinois. Possession of up to 2.5 grams of pot equated to a Class C misdemeanor and 30 days in jail, while possession of between 2.5 and 10 grams of marijuana led to a Class B misdemeanor and up to 6 months behind bars. Thankfully, a new state Senate Bill has just been signed into law with the hopes of preventing marijuana users from being arrested. However, this law has created some concern because some believe that marijuana decriminalization will result in more usage; therefore, more car accidents caused by impaired drivers.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a marijuana-related or any type of car accident, contact the attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. We will listen to your story and fight tirelessly to bring those responsible for your accident to justice. Do not be taken advantage of. You deserve to be compensated for your damages.

Call (312) 236-2900 now to see how our team can get you the funds you need to move on with your life.

Illinois Marijuana Decriminalization Explained

The bill recently signed into law (Senate Bill 2228) acts to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. However, this does not make pot legal. Rather than make arrests, police will now be required to fine those in possession of marijuana. The fine will be between $100 and $200 for individuals with up to 10 grams of pot on their person.

The benefits of Senate Bill 2228 are numerous. Not only will decriminalizing marijuana allow police to focus on more serious crimes, it will be financially beneficial. Possession fines alone will generate $24 million in revenue, according to a financial analysis conducted by the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council. This law will also allow the state to avoid $15.1 million in incarceration costs.

The Risk of Car Accidents

While there are countless societal benefits to decriminalizing marijuana, there are also safety concerns. If the penalties for pot possession are less severe, for example, people may be inclined to drive while under the influence. Marijuana is the second most commonly found substance in the blood of drivers involved in crashes; driving on pot is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Specifically, in simulator tests, marijuana users have difficulty responding to emergency situations.

According to a study conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA), the percentage of drivers who used marijuana within hours of a fatal crash doubled between 2013 and 2014. In addition, a study conducted by Columbia University found that drugged driving accounted for 28 percent of car crash fatalities in 2010.

Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.

An injury caused by a car accident can be devastating. You may be unable to work because of your condition, or perhaps your medical bills are piling up. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we understand the horror that can come from accidents, especially when they are caused by an impaired driver.

Call (312) 236-2900 now to see how we can help get the funds needed to make your life whole again.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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