Drug charges can stem from a host of situations, so it is imperative to understand exactly what’s legal and what isn’t. One thing that you have to realize is that there are some instances in which you might face criminal charges for possessing a legal medication.
Some medications are considered controlled substances, which means that you can only have them if you meet certain requirements. There are some substances that are considered completely illegal by the United States government. You have to look at the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 to find out the classification of drugs. This act breaks them into five categories, which are called schedules.
Despite some states, including Maryland, legalizing medical marijuana, this drug is still considered a Schedule I drug by the federal government. This means that there isn’t any recognized benefit to the substance and that it is unsafe with a high possibility of abuse. Other substances on this schedule include heroin and LSD.
Recreational use of marijuana in Maryland is still unlawful, so you can face charges if you possess it for this use. Interestingly, you can face federal charges for any marijuana, even if it is for decriminalized medical marijuana usage in Maryland. This is because it is still illegal on the federal level.
Other medications and substances in the act include:
- Schedule II: methamphetamine, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and amphetamine
- Schedule III: ketamine, Suboxone, anabolic steroids
- Schedule IV: Klonopin, Versed, Xanax, Soma, Ativan
- Schedule V: cough syrups with codeine in small quantities
If you are facing charges for a violation of this act, you need to focus on your defense. These charges can come with incarceration, fines and other consequences, so be sure you’re thinking carefully about your next steps.