As of January 1, 2018, the Illinois law on delivering cannabis or other controlled substances near school grounds has become just a little less strict.

The old law penalized manufacturing, delivering or possessing with intent to deliver cannabis or other controlled or look-alike substances within 1000 feet of school property, which also applied to school-owned transportation. It did not matter if no students were nearby or the school no longer operated as a school.

Under the new law, the distance has been reduced to 500 feet. Further, the fact a school is or was a school is no longer enough. The amended law requires that persons under 18 are present or are reasonably expected to be present when the offense occurs, or that the offense be committed during school hours, including after-school activities.

The law’s changes also apply to buildings used for religious worship or to senior citizen centers, when people are present or are reasonably expected to be present or the buildings are open for such activities.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. As with most crimes, the state must prove you guilty of all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Perhaps you were more than 500 feet from the school or the school was empty. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois school, criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

For further information, see:

  • Illinois Delivery of Cannabis on School Grounds Statute
  • Manufacture or Delivery, or Possession with Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, a Controlled Substance, a Counterfeit Substance, or Controlled Substance Analog
  • Participation in Methamphetamine Manufacturing.
  • (Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)