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Governor signs new medical marijuana law

Last month, Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Alternatives to Opioids Act. The new law lets Illinois physicians authorize patients whom they'd normally prescribe opioids for pain relief to legally obtain and use medical marijuana instead.

Gov. Rauner noted that "we are the first state to give medical prescribers a way to help adult patients manage their pain without compromising their safety or Illinois' marijuana program standards." He said he hopes this will help in the battle against opioid abuse and overdose. Nearly 2,000 people in Illinois fatally overdosed on opioids in 2016. The effectiveness of marijuana as a substitute for opioids to relieve pain has been documented.

6 examples of white collar crimes

Generally speaking, white collar crimes tend to revolve around money. They're far less obvious crimes, at least to the general public, than things like common burglary or assault. They happen behind the scenes, they are often covered up with paperwork and they can involve hundreds of thousands of dollars.

While they may be more "subtle" crimes and people may think they're just taking advantage of a situation or a loophole, they are still illegal. A few examples of white collar crime include:

  1. Securities fraud, such as insider trading
  2. Insurance fraud, such as reporting losses that never occurred
  3. Mortgage fraud
  4. Tax evasion, which could be as simple as intentionally misreporting earnings for the year so as not to pay taxes on that money
  5. Embezzlement, such as taking money from company accounts and doctoring the books
  6. Money laundering, which is done to attempt to conceal money that was earned illegally

Self-defense and a proportional response

Self-defense is one of the potential defenses to an assault charge. Someone may accuse you of assaulting them, but you may claim that they actually threw the first punch and you were just protecting yourself.

One thing to keep in mind is that a proportional response is typically required for you to effectively claim that you were just defending yourself. You cannot excessively escalate the situation and still make that claim.

Prescription drug DUI charges in Illinois

People often do not think twice before taking medication. After all, if you are following your doctor's instructions, what could possibly go wrong? In Illinois, getting behind the wheel of a car afterward can result in criminal charges.

Generally, Illinois law adopts a zero-tolerance approach for controlled substances. If, at the time of driving, you have any amount of a controlled substance in your system, this can form grounds for criminal charges.

After accident, motorcyclist is facing DUI charges

A man from Chicago had a female passenger on the back of his motorcycle when the vehicle went out of control and crashed. It does not appear that the man was badly hurt -- although both he and the passenger wound up in the emergency room. However, the woman on the motorcycle was seriously injured. She lost teeth, broke her jaw and cut her face badly enough to need eight stitches. She will probably suffer from permanent disfigurement.

The motorcyclist, who is 38 years old, apparently agreed to let doctors in the emergency room use a DUI kit on him. He allegedly informed them that he had consumed four beers prior to the wreck. This was different than what he told the police officers who arrived at the accident scene. He reportedly told them that he had only had two beers before getting on the bike.

Is there a link between drunk driving and age?

Are young people more likely to be arrested on DUI charges? Or, since they can legally buy alcohol, are older adults more likely to get pulled over for driving while intoxicated?

The statistics show that young people are certainly involved in drunk driving episodes. One study says that male high school students who are at least 18 years old are the "most likely to drink and drive" -- 18 percent of them.

Marijuana use compared to alcohol

Recreational use of marijuana is illegal in Illinois, even though it has spread to states like Colorado and Washington. Voters in nearby Michigan will soon get to decide if they want to approve the same type of use.

Proponents of legalizing marijuana have been comparing it to alcohol. After all, Prohibition made alcohol briefly illegal in the United States, though it was later overturned after leading to a lot of issues with illegal brewing and selling of alcohol. Is the same thing now happening with marijuana? A look at the arrest records suggests it does lead to similar issues.

You feel less intoxicated around other drunk people

You think it will be safe to drive when you're getting ready to leave the bar. Sure, you had a few drinks, but you really came here with friends to get a meal and spend some quality time after work. You don't even think you're drunk.

You get pulled over on the way home, and the officer arrests you after giving you some field sobriety tests. How could this happen?

I was arrested for DUI. Will my license be suspended or revoked?

Most states assign points to certain driving infractions so that drivers with a certain number of points eventually receive the penalties of license suspension or revocation. If you have recently been under arrest for driving under the influence, you may wonder how many points you will accumulate. Illinois takes DUIs very seriously, and unlike other states, does not assign points based on this offense.

The 2018 Illinois DUI Fact Book explains that there are a few things you should know if you face DUI charges or a conviction.

Marijuana cultivation penalties in Illinois

Compared to some states, Illinois has fairly relaxed marijuana laws. While possession of 10 grams or less is still illegal within the state, getting caught is just a civil infraction, not even a misdemeanor. The maximum fine is $200 and you will not go to jail. It's more like a traffic ticket than anything else.

But what about growing marijuana? What are the penalties for cultivation?

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