California Drug Crimes

By Law Office of Stephen G. Rodriguez & Associates  Apr. 29, 2011 3:01p

Everyone has heard of America's "war on drugs." In the United States, drug crimes and their corresponding penalties vary depending on the "type" of drug and the amount. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) was enacted by the United States Congress as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The CSA is the standard federal U.S. drug policy, which is adhered to by all fifty states. The CSA regulates the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of prescription medications and illicit drugs.

Drug Schedules and Classifications

The CSA created five Schedules (or classifications) of drugs, with Schedule 1, being the most severe. Drugs such as LSD and Heroin are Schedule 1 substances. Drugs that are on Schedule 1 have a high potential for abuse, and there is no currently accepted form of medical use in the United States, and are deemed unsafe for personal use. More examples of Schedule 1 drugs include PCP, Ecstasy, and Heroin.

Schedule 2 drugs include certain medications which have been approved for specific medical use under the supervision of a medical doctor, however these drugs have a potential for abuse, physical and psychological dependence. Some examples of Schedule 2 drugs include Morphine, Cocaine, Codeine, Opium, Methamphetamine and Secobarbital.

Schedule 3 medications have the potential for abuse, but less than Schedule 1 or Schedule 3 drugs. Abuse of these drugs can create low to moderate physical dependence or a high psychological dependence. An example would be Codeine combinations, and certain stimulants and depressants.

Schedule 4 medications have a lower potential for abuse than the medications listed on Schedule 2 or 3. Examples of Schedule 4 substances include Valium, Xanax and Phenobarbital.

Schedule 5 substances have the lowest potential for abuse. These would include some anti-diarrheals and products typically used as cough suppressants. For an expanded list, you can further discuss controlled substances with a Torrance criminal defense attorney.

Drug Crime Penalties

Drug crimes can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the type of drug and the quantity. Furthermore, the prosecution will take into consideration whether your intent was to use the drug for personal use, or to manufacture, distribute or traffic the drugs. In most cases, drug trafficking is a federal offense and brings about much harsher penalties.

If you have been arrested for a drug crime, contact a Torrance drug crime lawyer from the Law Office of Stephen G. Rodriguez & Associatesfor legal assistance.

Contact a Torrance drug crime attorney from our firm for a free initial consultation.

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