In the state of Illinois, the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is legal. In order for people to be authorized to use the drug, they must register with the Illinois Department of Public Health. The IDPH will provide them with an identification card, and a notation will be made on their driving record so that the authorities are aware that they can legally use marijuana.
Even if people are using marijuana legally, they still cannot operate a vehicle under the influence of the drug. Further, it is illegal to transport medical marijuana in a vehicle unless it is in a tamper-proof container in an area of the vehicle that is not accessible while the vehicle is moving. If people are pulled over after authorities have reason to believe that they may be driving while under the influence, thy will be required to undergo field sobriety testing.
If they refuse to submit to field sobriety testing or if they do not pass the tests, they will have their driver’s license automatically suspended. If they are found to be driving while under the influence of medical marijuana or if they are driving with medical marijuana in an open container that is easily accessible, they could lose their driving privileges and have their medical marijuana card revoked.
When people are accused of illegally being in possession of prescription drugs after a traffic stop, they could face severe penalties if a conviction is obtained. Potential sanctions could include a jail sentence, probation and fines. As a result, they may want to meet with an attorney in order to build a strategy to combat the allegations. In some cases an argument could be made that the defendant was unaware of the presence of the drug.