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Controlled Substance Schedules


Drug crimes are taken very seriously by both state and federal governments. In order to maintain a consistent pattern of enforcing drug laws in Maryland, illegal controlled dangerous substances are identified in multiple lists, each called a “Schedule.” Crimes committed relating to certain substances in certain schedules carry different penalties. There are five Schedules in total, each including various types of drugs.

Schedule I

Schedule I controlled dangerous substances include certain “core substances;” opium derivatives, including morphine and heroin; hallucinogens and hallucinogenic-like substances, such as peyote and marijuana; substances containing depressants, such as mecloqualone; and controlled substance analogues, or substances that have a chemical structure significantly similar to that of actual controlled dangerous substances listed in Schedule I or II. For a substance to be added to Schedule I, it must have a high potential for abuse, must not have any accepted medical use in the U.S. and must lack an accepted level of safety for use with medical supervision.

Schedule II

These controlled dangerous substances include certain core substances, including raw opium, codeine and morphine; cocaine; certain opiates, including methadone; stimulants, including amphetamine, methamphetamine, and phenmetrazine; and certain depressants. To be included in this Schedule, a substance must have a high potential for abuse, must have a currently accepted medical use in the U.S., and there must be evidence that its abuse may cause severe psychological and/or physical dependence.

Schedule III

Schedule III controlled dangerous substances include nalorphine and anabolic steroids, including testosterone substances; stimulants, including bensphetamine; certain depressants; and any substance containing certain levels of narcotic drugs such as codeine, opium and morphine. Other drugs included in Schedule III include dronabinol and ketamine. Substances included in this Schedule have a potential for abuse less than substances in Schedule I or II. There is approved and well documented medical use in the U.S. for Schedule III drugs and evidence that abuse may cause low or moderate physical dependence or high psychological dependence.

Schedule IV

This Schedule includes certain core substances; stimulants, containing substances such as pemoline and phentemine. Schedule IV controlled dangerous substances have a low potential for abuse compared to substances listed in Schedule III, are currently accepted for medical use and treatment in the U.S., and if abused, may cause limited psychological or physical dependence as compared to Schedule III substances.

Schedule V

Schedule V drugs include core substances containing certain quantities of narcotic drugs such as codeine, ethylmorphine, and diphenoxylate. Substances in this Schedule have a lower potential for abuse when compared to Schedule IV substances, have currently accepted medical uses in the U.S., and, if abused, may cause limited psychological or physical dependence as compared to Schedule IV substances.

Protecting Your Legal Rights

Drug crimes carry stiff penalties, especially those involving Schedule I or II controlled dangerous substances. Many drug crimes are considered felony offenses and carry potentially extensive prison sentences as well as inordinately heavy fines. If you have been arrested for a drug crime in Maryland, contact the experienced Bowie drug crime defense lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC. Our top rated attorneys have extensive experience representing individuals charged with drug crimes and can launch an aggressive defense on your behalf.

Call us today at (301) 321-7277 for a free case evaluation.

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