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The basics on federal drug scheduling in the U.S.

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2021 | Criminal defense |

It is common knowledge that drugs like heroin and meth are dangerous and if a person in Warrenton commits a drug crime involving these substances they can expect to be penalized harshly. However, what if you have a cold and took a cough syrup with codeine? Is that a federal drug crime? Surprisingly, if you tried to unlawfully manufacture or traffic it, it could be.

What is drug scheduling under federal law?

Federal law classifies controlled substances into five schedules. Crimes involving Schedule I drugs are more serious than crimes involving Schedule II drugs, etc. Which schedule a drug falls under depends on its abuse rate, addiction propensity and whether it has an accepted medical use.

The five drug schedules

Schedule I drugs are those that have no acceptable medical use and have a high propensity for abuse. Schedule II drugs are those that do have an acceptable use but have a high propensity for abuse and severe psychological and physical addiction. Schedule III drugs are those that have a moderate to low propensity for addiction. In addition, Schedule III drugs have a lower propensity for abuse compared to Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but have a greater propensity for abuse compared to Schedule IV drugs. Schedule IV drugs are those that have a low propensity for abuse and a low propensity for addiction. Schedule V drugs are those that have a lower propensity for abuse compared to Schedule IV drugs and contain small amounts of certain narcotics.

Learn more about federal crimes

The manufacture and trafficking of controlled substances is a crime under federal law, but how harshly the accused is treated will be based on what schedule the drug at issue falls under. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s website may be of interest to those accused of a drug crime who want to learn more about their rights and options.