Illinois Governor Signs Drug-Related Bills into Law
Gov. Bruce Rauner has recently signed into law three bills relating to criminal prosecution and sentencing for drug-related offenses in Illinois. All three laws will enter into effect on January 1, 2016.
One new law targets those who sell bath salts. “Bath salts” is a somewhat generic term used to refer to synthetic drugs that mimic the effects of other drugs, but can cause dangerous side effects. Bath salts are already illegal, but the law recently signed into effect provides a new way for prosecutors to target those who openly or covertly sell the drugs. Retailers such as gas stations and convenience stores sometimes display the dangerous drugs on store shelves, but many who sell bath salts keep them behind the counter, requiring a password or code to purchase them. When the law goes into effect, prosecutors will be able to charge those who knowingly sell bath salts with a felony, punishable with an up to $150,000 fine.
Additionally, Gov. Rauner signed into law two bills which could make it easier for those facing criminal charges for drug-related offenses to use medications to battle their addiction to opioids. The first law addresses the use of medication by drug court participants. Until now, judges have been able to order defendants before the drug court to cease using any prescriptions whatsoever. For a number of participants, this meant that they were unable to take the medications prescribed to them by a physician to address their addiction to opioid drugs, and sometimes doomed them to fail at attempting to kick this addiction. As of January 1, judges will no longer be able to require that all those before the drug court stop taking legally-obtained, prescribed drugs. Finally, Gov. Rauner approved of a law that will require substance abuse programs to teach participants about medications that could help them kick these addictions, such as drugs that treat opioid addictions or drugs that help to prevent overdosing. Both of these laws have the potential to result in greater success for those individuals who are facing charges while participating in drug rehab programs.
If you are facing drug-related charges at the Markham Courthouse or Bridgeview Courthouse, seek out a dedicated, aggressive and trial-ready Chicago criminal defense attorney to represent your rights before the court; contact John Fairman for a consultation, in Homewood at 708-799-4848, or in Bridgeview at 708-960-4806.