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What It Means to Possess a Controlled Substance


Using illegal drugs is a crime, and using a legal drug in a way that it was not intended to be used is also a crime.

The Controlled Substances Act

Passed as a federal law in 1970, the Controlled Substances Act identifies a variety of drugs, some legal, some not.

There are five levels of controlled substances and each level has various penalties associated with it.

  • Schedule V includes substances that are normally used as medication. Cough syrup, for example, is a Schedule V drug.
  • Schedule IV drugs can create dependency and are considered dangerous from that standpoint, but are still usually prescribed by physicians. Valium and Xanax are common examples.
  • Schedule III drugs have a potential for abuse. For example, Vicodin is on this list. Purchasing or selling Vicodin without a prescription is also illegal.
  • Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, like Oxycodone. These drugs are being regularly used by high school and college students and many adults are becoming addicted after being prescribed Schedule II drugs by doctors.
  • Schedule I drugs are what you would generally consider to be street drugs like heroin, acid, LSD, and marijuana. The fact that marijuana is on this list poses some complications since many states have reduced penalties for using marijuana and places like Colorado have even legalized it.

Speak with an Attorney

Possessing illegal drugs or legal drugs without a valid prescription is a crime and it can carry stiff penalties that include spending time in jail.  The best way to protect your rights is to speak with a Madison criminal attorney right away.

For help with your case, call the Eisenberg Law Offices.