Drug Schedules 101: What You Should Know

Criminal Lawyer

If you are charged with a drug crime, you will most likely hear about drug schedules. These are how drugs are categorized according to the Controlled Substances Act. Here are answers to two common questions regarding drug schedules.

What Drugs Are Included in Each Schedule?

When drugs are put into schedules, they are put into schedules one through five. The two considerations that are weighed when considering drug schedules are the potential for abuse and the medical value. If it is a Schedule I drug, then it is considered to have no medical value and to have a high potential for abuse.

  • Schedule I drugs currently include: LSD, heroin, marijuana, mushrooms, and ecstasy
  • Schedule II drugs currently include: Adderall, Ritalin, Vicodin, meth, oxycodone, and cocaine
  • Schedule III drugs currently include: Ketamine, anabolic steroids, Tylenol with codeine, and testosterone
  • Schedule IV drugs currently include: Soma, Valium, Ambien, Xanax, and Darvocet
  • Schedule V drugs currently include: Lyrica, Motofen, Robitussin AC, and Lomotil

Drug schedules matter when it comes to drug crimes because Schedule I and II drugs have the strictest restrictions, whereas Schedule V drugs have fewer restrictions.

Can Drugs Be Unscheduled?

It is difficult to unschedule a drug. While it is possible, it is less likely to happen. The best-case scenario may be for the drug itself to be rescheduled. On one hand, the U.S. has to consider international treaties. Some agreements require drugs to remain in the scheduling system. One example of a drug that cannot be unscheduled due to international treaties is marijuana. 

When you unscheduled a drug, you also have to prove that there is no risk of abuse. This is almost impossible for anyone to prove. Take marijuana again, for instance. While there is very little potential for dependence, it can still be addictive. Even though it is less addictive than meth, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and nicotine, it would be difficult to remove it from the list. Recreational drugs are almost always scheduled drugs. The only two recreational drugs that are not scheduled are tobacco and alcohol.

If there are drug charges against you, you need to plan out your defense. Understanding drug laws and the penalties that you may face can help you prepare to fight the charges. Whenever you are in criminal court, you need an attorney at your side. To find out how a lawyer, like a drug lawyer from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols, can help you with your case, consult with one as soon as possible.