Michigan and federal laws sometimes differ or conflict depending on each state’s legislation. For example, in Michigan, most instances of possession of marijuana are no longer criminalized, with some exceptions. However, federal drug schedules still name marijuana as one of the most serious drugs to possess or use. As a result, even if you follow Michigan law, you may still violate federal law. This article discusses the various federal drug schedules established by the controlled substances act and the penalties you face for violation.
The Controlled Substances Act established “schedules” for drugs to enforce, regulate, and manage these substances. The substances in each of these schedules are grouped based on factors like their addictiveness, medical use, and effects on health. The particular drugs in each schedule are determined using those factors and may or may not be related in type and form. The penalties for each schedule vary depending on the factors present and determined by the controlled substances act. For example, schedule V violations come with the lowest penalties, whereas schedule I offenses carry the highest.
Most of the drugs or substances in schedule V are medicinal and legal with valid prescriptions. While these substances are readily available and widely used, the Act controls possession and distribution of these substances because they pose some risk if misused or improperly distributed. Some schedule V drugs include:
The drugs in schedule IV are similar to those in the previous schedule. Many of the substances found in schedule IV are legal and widely accessible with valid prescriptions. For example, one drug on the schedule IV list is Ambien, a common sleep aid. Even though drugs like Ambien are used by many, they are placed on a higher schedule because they have the potential to be habit-forming and may result in health complications if misused. Common schedule IV drugs include:
Schedule III drugs are more regulated than schedule IV due to potential addiction and health consequences if not distributed and used correctly. While some of the drugs in schedule III are common prescriptions with medicinal purposes, those, as well as others on the list, can result in harm if misused. The drugs in their schedule are here because while they pose a potential risk, they are not as substantial as those in the following two schedules. Some schedule III drugs include:
- Lysergic acid
Schedule II drugs consist of those that have beneficial or medicinal purposes but generally do not. For example, Ritalin and Adderall are commonly prescribed to treat attention disorders like ADD or ADHD. However, other substances on this list, like cocaine, do not present a significant medicinal benefit, are highly addictive, and can result in significant health complications in the short and long term. Schedule II substances include:
- Components of Amphetamine or Methamphetamine
Mere possession of substances in this category without valid prescriptions results in charges and convictions if not treated correctly. The drugs in schedule II can provide medical benefits if prescribed by a trained medical professional. Still, if used without that guidance, they can cause substantial mental or even physical harm. Penalties for possession of drugs in this category are severe at any amount but often increase with the amount in your possession.
The controlled substances act considers the substances and drugs in this category as being the most dangerous and addictive. Drugs in this category are primarily considered to have no medical benefit, and any use may result in abuse, addiction, and dependency. In some circumstances, these drugs may be prescribed by a medical professional, but the overwhelming use of substances in this schedule occurs without prescription. Violations involving schedule I drugs carry significant penalties that can result in jail time, hefty fines, or probation. Some schedule I substances include:
- Cocaine base
These drugs carry the highest penalty when they are the subject of a drug charge. Some substances on the list, like marijuana, remain on the scheduled one even though Michigan has largely decriminalized its cultivation and possession.
Violations of the controlled substances act can result in various penalties. The severity and kind of penalties can be determined by the type of offense, the drug involved, the quantity, or the number of previous violations you have committed. Generally, you may face penalties such as imprisonment, fines, or probation, depending on the charge. You may face higher or lower penalties for the above based on the particular factors of your case. For example, if you possess drugs in the schedule one portion, you will face higher prison terms, fines, or probation if convicted. When dealing with federal drug crimes, it is essential that you hire an experienced federal drug crimes attorney to help you. No matter how insignificant it may appear, convictions for federal drug crimes can present severe consequences for the rest of your life.
Hiring An Experienced Michigan Federal Drug Crimes Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a federal drug crime, you must act quickly to protect your rights and interests. An experienced federal drug crimes attorney can help you analyze your case and present the best defense possible. George Law criminal defense attorneys have an extensive federal drug crimes record and are ready to represent you. To learn more or schedule your free initial case consultation, call 248-247-7459 or visit our website today.