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College students dabbling in drugs may face criminal charges

Going to college is often a young person’s first taste of independence, but young adults in South Carolina can make mistakes and get caught up in the partying culture of drugs and alcohol. Some may even go as far as dabbling in selling drugs to make a little extra cash. However, drug distribution is a federal crime, and the severity of its consequences depends on what schedule the drug falls under. Federal law recognizes five drug schedules ranging in severity with Schedule I drug crimes being the most serious and Schedule V drugs being the least serious. This post will provide a brief overview of federal drug schedules.

Schedule I drugs

Schedule I drugs are those with no currently acceptable medical use and that have a potential for abuse. Heroin, LSD, and ecstasy are all examples of Schedule I drugs. It is important to note that, unlike many state drug laws, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug under federal law.

Schedule II/IIN drugs

Schedule II drugs are those that have a high potential for abuse and also have a high potential to cause severe psychological or physical addiction. Dilaudid, oxycodone, fentanyl are schedule II drugs, as are other narcotics such as morphine, codeine and hydrocodone. Some Schedule IIN drugs include Adderal, methamphetamine and Ritalin.

Schedule III/IIIN drugs

Schedule III/IIIN drugs are those that have a lower chance of abuse than Schedule I or Schedule II drugs and may cause moderate to low physical addiction or high psychological addiction. Tylenol with Codeine is an example of a Schedule III drug. Schedule IIIN drugs include ketamine and anabolic steroids, among others.

Schedule IV drugs

Schedule IV drugs are those that have a lower potential for abuse compared to Schedule III drugs. Xanax, Klonopin ad Valium are all examples of Schedule IV drugs.

Schedule V drugs

Schedule V drugs have a lower potential for abuse compared to Schedule IV drugs. Robitussin AC is considered a Schedule V drug.

Learn more about drug crimes in South Carolina

College students are young and may make mistakes. Some may not realize how serious drug distribution is under federal law. So, if your college-aged son or daughter is accused of a drug offense, it is important to understand the law. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on federal drug charges may be a useful resource to those who want to learn more about this topic.


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