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What are federal drug schedules and how do they affect me?

Federal Drug charges can be devastating. You can face losing your family, losing your job and can even end up on the street if you rent a home and the drugs were found on the property. The federal Controlled Substances Act, or CSA, puts drugs into five different schedules that are based on the potential that they will be abused. Also, the schedules say whether or not the drug has been approved for medical use. There are different rules for each schedule and those pertain to the production, sale, possession, use and even the punishment for abusing this particular drug. This can be quite a confusing and controversial topic.

Take, for instance, the medical use of marijuana. It is legal in some states and not legal in others. Should it be a Schedule I drug or not? There is regulation, enforcement and punishment that are attached to a Schedule I drug. Florida, as well as other states, is allowed to have their own version of the schedules and they are sometimes very different than the federal schedules.

Schedule I drugs have a high possibility of being abused. And they also have a good chance of being a drug on which people become dependent. There is no medical use for these drugs so any type of possession is illegal. If there is no medical use, then these would be Schedule I drugs.

Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse and a high percentage of those taking these drugs will become dependent on them. These drugs have a medical use and it is possible to get a prescription from them.

Schedule III drugs have a moderate potential for abuse and could create a drug dependence. There is a medical use for them and you can get a prescription.

Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for abuse and you probably won't get a dependence on these. They have a medical use.

Schedule V drugs have a low potential for abuse and a non-existent level of dependency. Some of the drugs on this schedule are codeine cough syrup and others.

It is essential to understand your rights in Florida when you have been charged with federal drug crime.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Classifications," accessed Jan. 18, 2016

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