While some states have moved towards legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing other minor drug offenses, under drug possession, manufacturing and trafficking seriously both of marijuana and harder drugs.
Federal drug schedules
Federal law classifies drugs into five different categories based on their acceptable medical use and potential for abuse or addiction. The following is an overview of federal drug schedules.
- Schedule I drugs: Schedule I drugs are those that have no currently acceptable medical use and carry a high potential for abuse. Heroin, LSD, marijuana and ecstasy are all considered Schedule I drugs.
- Schedule II drugs: Schedule II drugs are those that have a high potential for psychological or physical dependence, and are considered dangerous, although they may have an acceptable medical use. Vicodin, cocaine, methamphetamine, Dilaudid and OxyContin are all considered Schedule II drugs.
- Schedule III drugs: Schedule III drugs are those that have a moderate to low potential for physical or psychological dependency. Schedule III drugs have a lower potential for abuse compared to Schedule I and Schedule II drugs. Tylenol with codeine, ketamine and anabolic steroids are all considered Schedule III drugs.
- Schedule IV drugs: Schedule IV drugs are those that have a low potential for abuse and a low risk of physical or psychological dependency. Xanax, Valium, Ambien and Tramadol are all examples of Schedule IV drugs.
- Schedule V drugs: Schedule V drugs are those that have a lesser potential for abuse than Schedule IV drugs and contain a limited amount of narcotics. Some examples of Schedule V drugs include Robitussin AC, Lyrica and Parepectolin.
Learn more about federal drug offenses
It is important to have a basic understanding of federal drug offenses, as they may differ from state drug offenses. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on federal crimes may be of interest to those who want to learn more about this topic.