What a difference a generation or two can make! During the tumultuous decade of the 1960s, teenagers and young adults smoked marijuana as part of a larger counter-culture explosion across the nation. Then came the “War on Drugs” that started in the 1970s, and it was still going strong at the end of the century. As we moved into the 21st Century, however, attitudes about marijuana and hemp started to shift — drastically. If you are curious about the numerous potential benefits of CBD, you first need to know if CBD is legal in Illinois.
What Is CBD?
There is a tremendous amount of confusion among the general public with regard to what CBD actually is and what its relationship is to marijuana. To clarify, CBD (scientific name “cannabidiol”) is a non-intoxicating chemical compound that can be extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. CBD is only one of over 100 compounds, collectively known as cannabinoids, that are found in the cannabis sativa plant. Because CBD does not produce the psychoactive effects that marijuana does, proponents of CBD claim that CBD offers a user many of the medicinal benefits associated with marijuana, such as reducing inflammation, improved appetite, and pain relief without experiencing the “high” associated with marijuana usage.
What Are the Benefits of Using CBD?
CBD enthusiasts claim it offers a wide range of benefits. The scientific community, however, has just recently starting to seriously study CBD and its medicinal properties. In 2018, the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence released a report that said CBD may benefit people diagnosed with a relatively long – and varied - list of ailments, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory diseases
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory bowel and Crohn’s disease
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Diabetic complications
The Committee also noted that “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” Parents of children with autism as well as people suffering from mental health disorders also claim to experience a relief of symptoms when using CBD.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Illinois?
The big question remains — is CBD hemp oil legal in Illinois? The short answer is “yes – but be careful.” Because of the way our government is structured, both the federal government and the individual states can enact laws that make something illegal. So, when the question of the legality of CBD comes up, an answer must consider how the substance is viewed by both the state and federal government.
Hemp and marijuana remain listed as dangerous Schedule I drugs, putting them in the same category as heroin and ecstasy. Consequently, marijuana and hemp would remain illegal in the eyes of the federal government, but President Trump and the Congress signed a farm bill at the end of 2018 that legalized products made from hemp. That legislation effectively legalized CBD oil throughout the country.
What Else Do I Need to Know about the Legality of CBD Oil in Illinois?
The laws relating to marijuana are changing so fast it is difficult to keep up. As of July 2019, 33 states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana in some form. In addition, 11 states have legalized the use of small amounts of recreational marijuana. Illinois is among the states that have legalized medical marijuana. There recently was a push to fully legalize marijuana for recreational use as well and the Governor recently signed the bill, making recreational marijuana legal in Illinois effective January 1, 202o. Until that date actually occurs, you must be careful when purchasing CBD oil or other CBD products. Only CBD oil made from hemp which has less than 0.3% THC is legal without a medical marijuana card.
Contact a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you were arrested and charged with a marijuana-related offense, consult with a criminal defense attorney right away to discuss the facts and circumstances of your case. Given how complex the hemp/CBD laws are and how rapidly they are changing, you may have a valid defense to the charges against you. Contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC today by calling (312) 644-0444 or by filling out our online contact form.
This blog is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on specific legal questions.