Are all drug crimes treated the same under Alabama law? In general, it depends on what “schedule” the drug falls under. Whether the crime is drug possession, drug trafficking or drug manufacturing the penalties often depend in part on the “schedule” of the drug at issue. Alabama law recognizes five schedules of drugs.
Schedule I substances
Schedule I drugs are those that have a substantial propensity for abuse and have no acceptable medical usage. Schedule I drugs cannot be prescribed by a physician. Heroin and LSD are two examples of Schedule I drugs. Note that under federal law, marijuana is a Schedule I drug.
Schedule II substances
Schedule II drugs are those that have a substantial propensity for severe psychological or physical addiction. Some examples of Schedule II drugs include morphine, methamphetamine, cocaine and hydrocodone.
Schedule III substances
Schedule III drugs are those that have a moderate to low risk for physical addiction or a high risk for psychological addiction. Anabolic steroids, Tylenol with codeine and some barbiturates are considered Schedule III drugs.
Schedule IV substances
Schedule IV drugs have a lesser degree of physical or psychological addiction than Schedule III drugs do. Klonopin, Valium and Xanax are all examples of Schedule IV drugs.
Schedule V substances
Schedule V drugs have a lower potential for abuse and addiction than Schedule IV drugs. Cough medicines containing codeine are an example of a Schedule V drug.
As you can see, Schedule I drugs are more dangerous than Schedule II drugs, etc. For this reason, oftentimes Schedule I drug charges will be treated differently than Schedule II drugs and so forth. In the end, however, all drug crimes must be treated seriously as they can have a significant impact on the lives of those convicted.