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Substance Classification and Scheduling

Drugs and other substances are regulated and classified under a system created by the Controlled Substances Act, or CSA. Substances are classified into five separate categories, or schedules, depending on the drug’s potential for abuse, accepted medical uses, safety, and physical and psychological dependence.

Schedule I and II drugs are classified as the most dangerous, and therefore those who possess or distribute them are severely punished.

Schedule I Drugs

To be classified as a Schedule I drug,

  • The drug or substance must have a high potential for abuse.
  • The drug or substance must have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
  • There exists no accepted safety for use of the drug or substance under medical supervision.

Schedule I drugs include, among many others, heroin, marijuana, MDMA (ecstasy), psilocybin (psychedelic mushrooms), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD or acid), mescaline (peyote), and certain strong opiates. Many of these substances are classified as Schedule I drugs amidst controversy from those who advocate for drug reform that certain drugs on the list, such as marijuana, are miscategorized and unfairly regulated.

Schedule II Drugs

To be classified as a Schedule II drug,

  • The substance must have a high potential for abuse.
  • The substance must have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, or a currently accepted but severely restricted medical use.
  • Abuse of the substance may lead to severe dependence, either psychological or physical in nature.

Schedule II drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine, morphine, opium, and methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta), among other substances.

Contact a Criminal Attorney in Appleton

The unauthorized manufacture, distribution, or possession of Schedule I or II drugs is treated as a serious crime with harsh punishments. If you have been charged with drug possession or another drug-related crime, contact the Appleton criminal defense attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. at 414-271-9595 to discuss your legal options.