Calculated Criminal Cannabis Conspiracy Charges in Illinois

Illinois law defines a calculated criminal cannabis conspiracy in 720 ILCS 550/9, as shown below.  Essentially, this charge involves the accusation that a person has possessed cannabis, obtained at least $500 in value from possession/delivery, and that another person was also involved in the scheme.

Prosecutors often bring this particular charge in Illinois because it can carry a much more significant jail term and fine than a “normal” possession with intent to deliver or manufacture/delivery charge.  However, this charge also requires that the prosecution have more evidence than they would need for a conviction on such lesser charges.  That fact is useful to attorneys defending people accused of a calculated criminal cannabis conspiracy in Illinois.

Under Illinois law, a Class 1 felony charge for a calculated criminal cannabis conspiracy can carry 4 to 15 years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.  The court can also impose a term of probation instead of a term of prison, and can condition that probation upon a term of up to 1 year in the county jail.  For the Class 3 felony version of a calculated criminal cannabis conspiracy in Illinois, the prison term the court may impose upon conviction is 2 to 5 years, with the same possible fines, probation, and county jail term discussed above.

The full text of the Illinois law addressing a calculated criminal cannabis conspiracy, 720 ILCS 550/9, is shown below:

(720 ILCS 550/9) (from Ch. 56 1/2, par. 709) 
    Sec. 9. (a) Any person who engages in a calculated criminal cannabis conspiracy, as defined in subsection (b), is guilty of a Class 3 felony, and fined not more than $200,000 and shall be subject to the forfeitures prescribed in subsection (c); except that, if any person engages in such offense after one or more prior convictions under this Section, Section 4 (d), Section 5 (d), Section 8 (d) or any law of the United States or of any State relating to cannabis, or controlled substances as defined in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, in addition to the fine and forfeiture authorized above, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 felony for which an offender may not be sentenced to death. 
    (b) For purposes of this section, a person engages in a calculated criminal cannabis conspiracy when: 
    (1) he violates Section 4 (d), 4 (e), 5 (d), 5 (e), 8 (c) or 8 (d) of this Act; and 
    (2) such violation is a part of a conspiracy undertaken or carried on with 2 or more other persons; and 
    (3) he obtains anything of value greater than $500 from, or organizes, directs or finances such violation or conspiracy. 
    (c) Any person who is convicted under this Section of engaging in a calculated criminal cannabis conspiracy shall forfeit to the State of Illinois: 
    (1) the receipts obtained by him in such conspiracy; and 
    (2) any of his interests in, claims against, receipts from, or property or rights of any kind affording a source of influence over, such conspiracy. 
    (d) The circuit court may enter such injunctions, restraining orders, directions, or prohibitions, or take such other actions, including the acceptance of satisfactory performance bonds, in connection with any property, claim, receipt, right or other interest subject to forfeiture under this Section, as it deems proper. 
(Source: P.A. 84-1233.)


See also  Possession with the Intent to Deliver Marijuana in Iowa