Recreational Marijuana in Illinois and its Dangers


In early June, lawmakers voted to allow recreational marijuana in Illinois.

Recreational weed laws vary from medical marijuana, as the recreational laws allow those without a prescription from a doctor to use the drug. This means that use is not as regulated as with medical marijuana. The new Illinois marijuana laws will kick into effect on January 1, 2020, when anyone 21 years or older will be able to possess and smoke marijuana no more than 35 grams. 1 Our Illinois addiction treatment center explores the dangers of marijuana and how to avoid the drug.

Recreational Weed Laws in Illinois

Starting in 2020, those over the age of 21 will be able to purchase and possess marijuana in Illinois. But local communities that aren’t keen on having legal weed are able to opt out of allowing marijuana sales. 1

Marijuana Dangers

Though many communities are allowing recreational marijuana in Illinois with lax recreational weed laws, there are dangers associated with the drug. There are medical marijuana dangers and dangerous chemicals in some produced strains or products. The FDA regulation on marijuana is growing with the legality of the drug, but the drug itself is linked to some dangers. The CDC lists numerous dangers of weed, including problems with brain health, lung health, and heart health. 2 Specific dangers include:

  • Reduction in memory and learning for teens
  • Damage to blood vessels within the lungs when smoked
  • Increase risk of bronchitis
  • Increased heartbeat, possible increased risk of stroke

These dangers of marijuana are for legal recreational marijuana and medical marijuana as well. Many forms of the drug contain dangerous chemicals, especially illegally sold marijuana that is not regulated in any way.

Though Illinois is legalizing marijuana, that doesn’t mean the drug is safe. Think of alcohol as an example of a highly dangerous chemical that’s legal, yet still life-threatening with its risks and dangers.

If you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction, our 12-Step treatment program in Illinois can help. Call 888-280-4763 to learn more.


  1. Belleville News-Democrat - Looking forward to legal weed? Here’s a Q&A about Illinois’ marijuana legalization
  2. CDC - Marijuana: How Can It Affect Your Health?
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.