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Can You Get Arrested For Being High?

It is becoming common for states to decriminalize recreational marijuana use or approve it for medical purposes. But, can a person still get arrested for being high?

Not typically, but if being high leads to violating public intoxication laws, then yes. It is a violation of these laws when you disrupt the peace, cause a disturbance, or pose a threat to others.

Many Louisiana residents may not realize that you can get arrested for being high. But, in Louisiana, public intoxication is a crime regardless of the substance you used.

Being high can lead to your arrest.

Being high in public can lead to your arrest in certain situations. It is a violation of RS 14:103 Louisiana law governing disturbing the peace to be publicly intoxicated.

The term “intoxicated” is not limited to being under the influence of alcohol but includes illegal drugs, controlled substances, or another intoxicant (including inhalants such as paint thinner or glue).

Public intoxication arrest typically occurs because of some disturbance, such as injuring other persons or harming property, or posing a threat to your safety.

To gain a conviction, prosecutors don’t need test results but often rely on the testimony of the arresting officer to prove their case.

A charge for disturbing the peace can result in a fine of $100 or less, 90 days or less of imprisonment, or both. The baseline penalty can be enhanced depending on the specifics of the crime.

Disturbing the peace is a charge that will remain on your criminal record unless you get it expunged. An expungement is a civil action to seal your criminal record, making these records unavailable through the State or Federal authorities.

Can I Get Arrested for Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana?

Yes, in Louisiana, the possession, sale, and cultivation of marijuana is illegal. In specific circumstances, marijuana can be used for medical purposes.

While it is not technically a crime to be loaded in public, possession of any amount of marijuana is still illegal (unless you have a prescription).

Louisiana considers marijuana to mean all parts of plants whether growing or not; the seeds; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin.

The law does not restrict the use of mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of a plant which is incapable of germination, or cannabidiol when in a drug product approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Persons who drive high are subject to Louisiana DWI/DUI laws. If an officer pulls you over and believes that you are high, he may search your vehicle and even arrest you on a marijuana DUI.

What Are the Criminal Penalties for Possession of Marijuana in Louisiana?

The penalties depend on the amount you are charged with possessing and your prior criminal record.


First and second offenses for possessing marijuana is a misdemeanor in Louisiana. You will face a fine of up to $300 and have a drug charge on your record.


From the third offense or more, possessing marijuana in Louisiana is a felony. You are looking at up to two years in prison and more substantial fines.


If you are caught possessing large amounts of marijuana (2,000 pounds or more) and distributing it to others, you can face up to 20 years in prison.

Do You Need An Attorney?

Although an arrest for disturbing the peace laws may seem silly, these charges can stain your record. If you are charged with a crime and are considering an attorney contact our office. We are experienced and can evaluate your case and inform you about your best options.

Marijuana Laws and Penalties in Illinois

As of May 2017, Illinois has not legalized recreational use of marijuana. If you do not have a medical marijuana card, you need to be aware that recreational use of marijuana, possession of marijuana, and intent to sell marijuana, are serious crimes in Illinois.


What are the Penalties for Marijuana Possession?

Illinois’ laws have provisions that enable first time offenders to get off relatively easily. Although the punishments for possessing under 30 grams of marijuana (a misdemeanor) range from 30 days to a year in jail, a judge can grant a 24-month probation in lieu of jail time, after which the charges will be dismissed. However, after the first offense (or for any possession of more than 30 grams), the penalties swiftly become severe. The penalties are as follows:



Second offense of 10 to 30 g

1 – 6 years in prison

First offense of 30 to 500 g

1 – 6 years in prison

Second offense of 30 to 500 g

2 – 10 years in prison

2 – 10 years in prison

3 – 14 years in prison

More than 5,000 g

4 – 30 years in prison

In addition, possession of any amount of marijuana over 30 grams will automatically levy a $25,000 fine.

It’s also important to know that there are separate convictions and charges for selling/trafficking and growing marijuana, as well as possession of other forms of marijuana (like hash) and paraphernalia. This means if you bring marijuana into the state illegally for your use or to share with friends, you might face charges of possession as well as selling and/or trafficking.

What Are Illinois’ Regulations of Growing Marijuana in My Private Home?

Growing marijuana is illegal in Illinois and the number of plants you are growing increases the severity of the punishment for marijuana cultivation. “Plants” here is a somewhat vague term, and it can sometimes include very tiny saplings or even budding seeds, so the number of plants determined is often at the discretion of the judge. Raising less than 5 plants will only be classified as a misdemeanor, but can still get you a year in jail. Raising more than 5 plants is a felony, and such the penalties become harsher.

Essentially, the punishment for illegally growing marijuana are:

Number of Plants


5 plants or less

1 year in prison and up to $2,500 fine

1 – 6 years in prison and up to $25,000 fine

20 to 50 plants

2 – 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 fine

50 to 200 plants

3 – 14 years in prison and up to $100,000 fine

More than 200 plants

4 – 30 years in prison and a $100,000 fine

What Are the Medical Marijuana Laws in Illinois?

In August 2013 Illinois legalized medical marijuana and in 2015 and 2016 they amended the act to allowed qualifying children under the age of 18 years-old to use medical marijuana.

But in order to legally use and purchase marijuana for medical reasons, you must fill out and submit a form to the State of Illinois. You must also have approval by a licensed physician and have one of the qualify illnesses, which are some of the following:

  • ALS;
  • Cancer;
  • Crohn’s Disease;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Hepatitis C;
  • Lupus;
  • Multiple Sclerosis;
  • PTSD; and/or
  • Many other chronic illnesses

Can You Get a DUI For Driving After Smoking Marijuana?

Illinois has a zero tolerance drunk driving law enacted for cannabis, cannabis metabolites, and other controlled substances. This means that if there is any amount of illicit drugs in your system while you are driving, you will be arrested for DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs). Violating this law is punishable by up to 12 months in jail upon conviction for a first offense, as well as having your license suspended.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Marijuana Offense in Illinois?

If you have been arrested for any sort of crime involving marijuana in Illinois, it is very important to get an experienced Illinois drug crime lawyer right away. The advice of an attorney may help you understand both the procedural aspects of criminal prosecution and local attitudes in your jurisdiction toward prosecution for possession of this drug.

Cannabis & Hemp Business Law
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Our firm has been heralded as one of the nation’s first law firms to specialize only in cannabis law. Having blazed a trail and been first to market provides our clients access to proprietary experience that leads to successful outcomes. We also provide our clients with a deep network they can access to push forth their objectives. Further, growing with an industry from inception to the present, we understand the nuances of local, state and federal laws, and can advise on how to leverage each into various protections. Whereas other firms spend unnecessary time researching, or “getting up to speed,” our unique knowledge translates into cost-effective legal counsel.

Even a cursory internet search of our firm will display the various accolades Manzuri Law attorneys have received over the past decade. From making the list of the “30 Powerful Cannabis Attorneys You Should Know” to being on Executive Boards of the industry’s top trade organizations, we’ve been recognized by other industry leaders for our prowess in the field.

Contact one of our legal professionals today to ensure your operations are functioning in the best way possible.