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How is a drug's classification determined?

Being charged with a drug crime is a serious matter in Florida, as is the case anywhere in the United States. The investigation can be drawn out and highly disruptive. Worse still, if you are convicted, it could turn your life upside-down and you may find yourself facing hefty fines or even a prison sentence.

The severity of the penalty generally depends on a number of factors, but one matter that can greatly influence this is the schedule of drugs involved. All controlled drugs are classified into one of five schedules, based on their perceived potential for abuse and dependency, along with whether they have any accepted medical use.

As this article on drug classification details, Schedule V drugs are considered the lowest risk. These tend to be drugs such as cough medicines infused with codeine. At the other end of the scale, in Schedule I, are drugs considered to pose the greatest risk while having no medical use. These include heroin, ecstasy and cannabis.

This latter point has caused extensive dispute as several states have legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes. However, it remains illegal under federal law. It is vital to know the specific legislation in your home state before using marijuana there as it could lead you into legal trouble.

If you are charged with a drug-related crime, the important thing is to remain calm and think carefully about what you want to say. This can be daunting and difficult at first, but you do not have to face it alone. An attorney may be able to help you with this and assist you as you work towards clearing your name and preserving your future.

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