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What do drug schedules mean?

Facing a drug charge usually involves dealing with penalties that are based on the type of drug you allegedly had and the quantity of that drug you are said to have had. State laws play a big part in how severe of a penalty you are facing, but there is a federal law that can also have an impact on this because states are required to have state laws that comply with the federal drug schedules.

What is a drug schedule and where it is found?

One of the factors that affects many drug cases is what schedule the drug falls under. The schedule is something that is determined by the classification of the drug by the Controlled Substances Act. This act was signed into federal law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon in an effort to consolidate drug laws and make it easier to track and control drugs that have the potential for addiction or dangers to public health.

How are drugs arranged on the CSA's schedules?

There are five schedules on the CSA. Each one is assigned a number from 1 to 5, with 1 being the most addictive drugs with no medical uses and 5 being the least addictive with some medical uses. Generally, doctors can prescribe some of the drugs that are from schedules 2 through 5, but wouldn't prescribe drugs from schedule 1 since they are illegal.

What are some drugs on the schedule?

Marijuana is a schedule 1 drug, but cocaine is a schedule 2 drug. Vicodin is a schedule 3 drug and Xanax is a schedule 4 drug. Cough syrups that contain codeine are a Schedule 5 drug.

If you are charged with the possession of a controlled substance, you should make sure that you understand how the classification will affect your case. It can affect your sentence if you are convicted, so your defense must be prepared accordingly.

Source: FindLaw, "The Controlled Substances Act (CSA): Overview," accessed Aug. 17, 2016

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