Police Still Making Cannabis Arrests, Despite Pending Law Change
Area police departments continue to make cannabis arrests despite pending changes in state law via the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, which is expected to be signed today (Tuesday, June 25) by Gov. JB Pritzker.
One such incident took place Thursday night (June 20, 2019), when an Aurora man was charged with possession with intent to deliver a felony amount of cannabis after running from the police.
Myles Wisley, 22, of the 1000 block of Elmwood Dr., Aurora, was charged with resisting police, felony possession of cannabis, and felony possession with intent to deliver cannabis after officers observed him stuff a large bag of drugs into his pants.
At 10:50 p.m., members of the Aurora Police Department Special Operations Group were conducting directed patrols in the area of Pennsylvania Avenue and West Park Avenue, on Aurora’s West Side. It was during this time that investigators observed Wisley reach into a vehicle parked near that intersection and retrieve a large bag which appeared to be full of cannabis.
Investigators saw Wisley stuff the bag into his pants.
As investigators approached to investigate further, Wisley took off running from the police, but eventually surrendered, indicating that he had “four ounces of weed in [his] pants.”
Wisley also admitted to having more cannabis, along with scales and other drug-selling equipment inside the vehicle, but insisted the marijuana was for personal use.
Wisley was ultimately charged with the following:
- Resisting / Obstructing a Peace Officer, a Class A misdemeanor.
- Possession / Cannabis over 30 grams, a Class 4 felony.
- Possession / Cannabis w/intent to deliver, a Class 3 felony.
Wisley was taken to the Kane County Jail to be arraigned on bond. He will appear in court at a future date.
Charges are not proof of guilt. Wisley is presumed innocent and entitled to fair trials at which it is the burden of the state to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Aurora Public Information Officer Bill Rowley said enforcement of cannabis laws has to continue now and will continue after the state legalizes marijuana next year.
“Even with the pending changes to the cannabis laws effective Jan. 1, 2020, this offense would have been unlawful based on the total weight and packaging, and would still be considered a felony possession and intent to deliver charge.”
According to WLS Chicago, the governor will sign HB 1438 today.
HB 1438 makes Illinois the 11th state to legalize cannabis and the second to legalize cannabis possession through the legislative process.
Under the law, consumers aged 21 and older will be able to buy marijuana products from licensed sellers in Illinois — with or without a medical marijuana card. It will allow adult residents to legally possess 30 grams of cannabis, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate or 500 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product.
According to the Chicago Tribune and other media, on Jan. 1, 2020, the governor will pardon past convictions for possession of up to 30 grams. The state attorney general will go to court to expunge or delete public records of a conviction or arrest.
For possession of 30 to 500 grams, an individual or a state’s attorney may petition the court to vacate and expunge the conviction, but prosecutors may object, with a judge to make the decision.
SOURCE: Aurora Police Department news release, media reports