DC Drug Schedules

Drug crimes in DC are vigorously prosecuted and pursued by law enforcement in DC. Many resources are put into identifying and punishing illegal drug offenses in DC. As such, it is important for any individual who is arrested or being investigated for drug crimes to contact a DC drug attorney as soon as possible. It is essential to understand the type of offense and type of drug that is being charged. An attorney can help someone to understand what schedule of drug they are being charged with in DC and can help moving forward in their defense.

Defining Controlled Substances

The Controlled Substances Act delineates what substances are under control by the government so a person is not allowed to possess them without a valid prescription. In some circumstances, certain drugs cannot be possessed at all, such as heroin.

The Controlled Substances Act classifies controlled substances into a drug Schedule. There are five Schedules of drugs in DC, Schedules I through V, and they are set out according to the potential for abuse that a substance has in relation to its potential therapeutic benefits. Under the Controlled Substances Act, which mirrors the federal Controlled Substances Act, the possession of certain drugs is unlawful without a prescription, or entirely unlawful as no prescription is available.

Drug Schedules

Under the federal Drug Schedules, marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. DC has decriminalized possessing or growing limited amounts of marijuana for individuals, over the age of 21. Schedule I controlled substances are classified as such because of the high potential for abuse and have been found to have no medical use. There is an ongoing debate about the validity of putting marijuana in Schedule I as having no medical value or use.

Schedule I

A Schedule I controlled substance has no currently accepted medical use or there is a lack of accepted safety of its use for medical purposes and it has a high potential for abuse. Heroin, marijuana, LSD, and the drug commonly known as ecstasy or MDMA, are examples of drugs that are found to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use under the federal Schedule.

Schedule II

Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, but have some accepted medical value. Schedule II drugs are severely restricted because they are drugs that could be abused. An example of a Schedule II drug is cocaine, which has limited specific medical uses, such as local anesthetic.

Schedule III

Schedule III drugs have a lower potential for abuse and also have accepted medical uses. Anabolic steroids, which can be used to help recover from injuries or surgeries in a medical setting, and Vicodin, for example, are Schedule III drugs.

Schedule IV

Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for abuse, or at least lower than Schedule III drugs, with limited dependence possibilities. There are acceptable medical uses or value in Schedule IV drugs. A common example is Xanax, which is commonly prescribed, but it is regulated because it can be abused.

Schedule V

Schedule V substances have a low potential for abuse relative to the other Schedule substances. These substances are generally used for medical purposes, such as cough medications that have some Codeine, like Robitussin. Some of the Schedule V substances require a prescription because they are on the Schedule, and those that do not are still regulated as a controlled substance.