Federal Drug Schedules

All illegal drugs can be dangerous, but they are not all considered equal. Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the federal government divides drugs into five categories, or “schedules,” based on their usefulness and potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous, while Schedule V are the least dangerous.

If you have been charged with possession of any illegal drug, you could be facing serious penalties. You need a committed Cape Cod criminal defense attorney who can fight to protect your rights. To learn more about your legal rights and options, call James Powderly at 508-343-0676.

Drug Schedules and their Meanings

The five drug schedules and their meanings are outlined below:

  • Schedule I – These drugs have a high potential for abuse, no valid medical uses, and cannot be used safely even with medical supervision. Examples include GHB, heroin, and MDMA (“Ecstasy”). Marijuana is also included in this category, although there is controversy surrounding this issue.
  • Schedule II – These drugs have a high potential for abuse and may be addictive, but also have valid medical uses. Examples include cocaine, morphine, and PCP.
  • Schedule III – These drugs have a lower potential for abuse, although they may be mildly addictive. They also have valid medical uses. Examples include ketamine and codeine.
  • Schedule IV – These drugs have a lower potential for abuse and addiction than Schedule III drugs. They also have valid medical uses. Examples include benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium.
  • Schedule V- These drugs have a lower potential for abuse and addiction than Schedule IV drugs, and have valid medical uses. Examples include certain cough medicines and anti-diarrhea drugs.

The penalties for possession or abuse of a certain drug will depend on how it is classified. If you are accused of abusing a certain drug, it is important to know how it is classified so you can fully understand the charges against you.

Contact a Cape Cod Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of illegally possessing or selling a drug, experienced Cape Cod criminal defense lawyer James Powderly can help. Contact our offices today at 508-343-0676.


Interview with a Former DUI Client