The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 brought together all of the existing federal drug-related laws under one statute. Under the CSA, all drugs are broken down into five categories, or schedules, based on:
- Potential for abuse
- Addictive properties
- If the substance has a medical benefit
The schedules range from I to V, with substances in Schedule I being the most dangerous and addictive, and those in Schedule V having the low risk of addictive properties and a recognized medical use.
Each of the schedules are listed below:
- Schedule I: High potential for abuse, no accepted medical use
- Schedule II: High potential for abuse, limited accepted medical use
- Schedule III: Moderate potential for abuse, some accepted medical use
- Tylenol with Codeine
- Anabolic steroids
- Schedule IV: Lower potential for abuse, accepted medical use
- Schedule V: Lowest risk for potential abuse, accepted medical use
- Various cough syrups that contain less than 200 milligrams of Codeine per 100 grams or millimeters
Federal and state drug laws take schedules into consideration when determining potential charges and sentencing for drug offenses. If you have been charged with a drug crime, understanding which schedule the substance in question falls into is the first step in building your defense.