Champaign Defense Attorney for Marijuana Possession for HIV/AIDS Treatment
Today, there are approximately 1.2 million people in the United States living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a condition caused by the progression of HIV. Patients with HIV/AIDS may suffer from numerous unpleasant symptoms and side effects from the disease itself, treatments for the disease, or opportunistic infections brought on by their weakened immune system. While there is no cure for HIV, proper treatment can slow or prevent the progression of the disease.
Research shows that marijuana can be helpful in providing relief for patients suffering from HIV/AIDS. Many patients with HIV/AIDS in Champaign have benefited greatly from using marijuana to treat and relieve their pain and discomfort. However, Illinois still has strict and confusing laws on the possession and use of marijuana. Charges for illegal possession of marijuana carry steep penalties and serious consequences. If you are someone suffering from HIV/AIDS, that is the last thing you need.
If you are a patient diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in Champaign, Illinois, and you have been charged with marijuana possession, contact the experienced Champaign marijuana possession attorneys of Bruno Law Offices as soon as possible.
For over 40 years, Bruno Law Offices has been representing Champaign patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS who have gotten caught up in the criminal justice system simply for trying to ease their pain and discomfort. Our attorneys care deeply about our clients and want them to enjoy life as best they can, and we will vigorously defend your need to treat your condition.
Contact Bruno Law Offices today at (217) 328-6000 to speak with one of our compassionate, knowledgeable marijuana defense attorneys about your case.
What Is the Research on Marijuana and HIV/AIDS?
Anecdotal evidence and scientific research suggest that marijuana can be helpful in treating painful, uncomfortable, and debilitating symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS, including nausea, vomiting, weight loss, neuropathic pain, and depression. A study included in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that patients with HIV/AIDS who were using marijuana to treat their symptoms reported improvements in:
- Appetite (97 percent)
- Muscle pain (94 percent)
- Nausea (93 percent)
- Anxiety (93 percent)
- Nerve pain (90 percent)
- Depression (86 percent)
- Paresthesia (85 percent)
What Is the Law in Illinois on Marijuana Possession?
In January 2020, the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act became effective in Illinois, which legalized marijuana for recreational use with the following restrictions:
- You must be 21 years of age or older to purchase, possess, or use marijuana.
- Illinois residents may possess no more than 30 grams of cannabis flower, 500 milligrams of THC contained in cannabis-infused products, and five grams of cannabis concentrate.
- Non-residents may possess no more than 15 grams of cannabis flower, 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and 250 milligrams of THC contained in cannabis-infused products.
- Registered qualifying patients under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act may cultivate up to five cannabis plants per household that are no more than five inches tall with very specific restrictions regarding placement, seed acquisition, and care of the plants. They cannot sell or give away any cannabis plants, cannabis, or cannabis-infused products.
- Possession is restricted on school grounds, on a school bus, in a correctional facility, in the residence of licensed childcare providers, and in a vehicle without being properly sealed and secured.
- Use is restricted on school grounds, on a school bus, in a correctional facility, in a motor vehicle, in the residence of licensed childcare providers, in any public place, or in close proximity to anyone under the age of 21.
- Dispensing organizations must have a license to sell cannabis from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and their employees must have dispensing organization agent cards.
Can You Legally Possess Medical Marijuana if You Have HIV/AIDS in Illinois?
Yes, but only if you are a registered qualifying patient.
In 2013, Illinois passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act, which legalized the use of marijuana for certain “debilitating” medical conditions according to the following restrictions:
- You must be a registered qualifying patient to purchase, possess, or use cannabis for medical purposes.
- Cannabis must be purchased from a registered medical cannabis dispensary.
- Registered qualifying patients may possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis during a 14-day period.
What Is the Process for Obtaining Medical Marijuana in Illinois?
In order to obtain medical marijuana legally in Illinois, you must visit your doctor for an evaluation. If your doctor agrees that medical marijuana could be helpful in treating your HIV/AIDS, they will complete a certification on your behalf through the Illinois Cannabis Tracking System, attesting that you have a “bona fide health care professional-patient relationship” with your physician and that they are treating you for HIV/AIDS.
You must then complete the patient application through the Illinois Cannabis Tracking System. The application will ask for your contact information, proof of identity and residency, and other screening questions. You must also pay an application fee.
The Illinois Department of Public Health will review your application and your physician’s certification. Once it is approved, you will receive a digital medical cannabis registration card that you can print or download. You must show this card to purchase cannabis from a registered medical cannabis dispensary.
Why Might You Get Charged for Marijuana Possession for HIV/AIDS Treatment?
Even though it is legal to possess and use medical marijuana for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, there are circumstances in which you could get charged with marijuana possession, such as:
- Not completing the Illinois Cannabis Tracking System patient application
- Completing but not yet having the approval of your Illinois Cannabis Tracking System patient application
- Not having your medical cannabis registration card on your person when purchasing or possessing marijuana
- Exceeding the 2.5-ounce limit of marijuana in your possession
- Possessing cannabis in a place where it is restricted, such as a school or correctional facility
- Smoking medical cannabis in a public place
- Driving while under the influence of medical cannabis
- Giving cannabis to someone not approved for medical cannabis
Contact Bruno Law Offices for Help with a Marijuana Charge for HIV/AIDS Treatment
If you are a patient with HIV/AIDS who is using medical cannabis to get relief from your disease and you find yourself with a marijuana possession charge, Bruno Law Offices is here to help you fight the charge. While Illinois has legalized possession of marijuana with restrictions in recent years, violations of the existing laws still carry serious consequences. The last thing you need is a big fine or jail time while you’re suffering from HIV/AIDS.