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How does federal law classify illegal drugs?

by | Mar 20, 2021 | Narcotics And Drugs |

Most people know that if you use, sell, manufacture or traffic drugs such as heroin or cocaine in the Troy area you can be charged with a drug crime. However, what if you were simply using cough syrup with codeine? Could this lead to a drug crime? The answer might surprise you.

The federal government classifies drugs into schedules. Crimes involving Schedule I drugs are treated more severely than those involving Schedule II drugs, etc. The following is a brief overview of federal drug schedules.

Schedule I drugs

Schedule I drugs are those that do not have an accepted medical purpose and have a high potential for abuse. Heroin, LSD and ecstasy are all examples of Schedule I drugs. It is important to note that the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, even though many state laws do not.  While this may be changing, based on newly introduced legislation in the U.S. Congress, until a new law passes, marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

Schedule II drugs

Schedule II drugs are those that have an accepted medicinal purpose but have a high potential for abuse and have the propensity to cause severe psychological or physical addiction. Vicodin, methamphetamines, OxyContin and Ritalin are all examples of Schedule II drugs.

Schedule III drugs

Schedule III drugs are those with a moderate to low potential for physical or psychological addiction, but their potential for abuse is lower than that of Schedule I and Schedule II drugs. Tylenol with codeine, ketamine and anabolic steroids are some examples of Schedule III drugs.

Schedule IV drugs

Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for abuse and a low potential for addiction. Xanax, Valium and Tramadol are all examples of Schedule IV drugs.

Schedule V drugs

Schedule V drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV drugs and contain limited amounts of specific narcotics. Cough medicine, Lyrica and Parepectolin are all examples of Schedule V drugs.

Learn more about your options if you are charged with a drug crime

Being charged with a drug crime, whether it involves a Schedule I drug or a Schedule V drug is a serious situation. It is important that you understand your rights and options in such situations. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. To learn more about drug charges in Michigan, we encourage you to visit our firm’s website for further information on this important topic.