Controlled Substances & Drug Schedules

Under the United States Controlled Substances Act, all illegal drugs, prescription medications, and certain chemicals and substances are classified into one of five categories based on their potential for abuse as well as their accepted medical uses. These categories are referred to as schedules.

Many states, including Oklahoma, have adopted the same drug scheduling system used by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

The Five Drug Schedules

  • Schedule I drugs are considered to have the highest potential for abuse along with no known or accepted medical uses; examples include marijuana, psilocybin (mushrooms), acid (LSD), ecstasy (MDMA), and heroin
  • Schedule II drugs are considered to have a high abuse potential with some accepted medical uses under strict supervision; examples include cocaine, opium, and opiates such as morphine, codeine and other similar painkillers
  • Schedule III drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I and II and also have accepted medical uses; examples include barbiturates, anabolic steroids and hormones, and certain narcotic compounds
  • Schedule IV drugs have low potential for abuse along with widely-accepted medical uses; examples include Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Ambien, and ephedrine
  • Schedule V drugs are thought to have the lowest potential for abuse; these include compounds containing low amounts of narcotics

Penalties for Drug Crimes

The potential penalties associated with drug charges depend largely on the nature of the crime as well as the schedule of the drug or drugs involved. Drug possessiondistribution and trafficking all have different consequences associated with conviction.

Defending Drug Charges

Just because you have been charged with a drug offense does not mean that you are guilty. An experienced defense attorney can help you understand your options and obtain the best possible result in your case.

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