Over the span of its history, the United States has persistently attempted to completely ban addictive drugs from the population by criminalizing its possession, manufacturing, and distribution. It's first successful effort, despite the prior enactment of confusing and ineffective drug laws, was the Controlled Substances Act in the 1970s. The Act permits the federal government to regulate hallucinogens, narcotics, stimulants, and depressants, and renames them as controlled substances. These substances are categorized into “schedules,” that dictate a drug's potential hazardousness or harmlessness.
Pennsylvania uses the scheduling of the CSA to prosecute drug offenders. This is why it's important for people accused and charged with drug offenses involving controlled substances to understand the state's laws and potential penalties concerning the drugs that are regulated by the government. For the purposes of this article, we will address (1) the drug classification system in Pennsylvania, (2) the drugs that are categorized under drug schedule 2, (3) and the legal ramifications associated with these drug crimes.
Drug Classifications in Pennsylvania
A drug's classification determines the severity of the potential penalties an alleged perpetrator will face if convicted of a drug crime. There are five schedules that list drugs that the government has declared pose a risk to society. Schedule 1 drugs are considered the most dangerous, while schedule 5 drugs are deemed the least dangerous.The government has assessed a number of factors to determine where or if a drug belongs on a schedule:
- The state of the scientific research available for the drug
- The effects of long-term usage
- The drug's actual or relative potential for abuse
- The drug's potential risk to public health
- Whether or not the substance is a gateway drug (leads to the use of another illegal substance) etc.
Schedule 2 Drugs
Law enforcement takes schedule 2 drugs incredibly seriously. Schedule 2 drugs have a pretty high potential abuse, but not as high as schedule 1 drugs. Some of these controlled substances are used for medical purposes, but only with extreme restrictions.
Some schedule 2 drugs include:
- Methamphetamine (meth)
- Meperidine etc.
In Pennsylvania, the possession, distribution, and manufacturing of controlled substances is against the law. Simple possession is charged as a misdemeanor but still carries pretty harsh penalties. Those who are charged with possession with the intent to distribute PWID will be facing felony criminal penalties. The legal ramifications for a conviction of this nature consist of costly fines and a sentence of imprisonment, even for a first-time offense.
Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney
If you've been charged with a drug offense involving a controlled substance, it's important that you get in contact with an attorney. Skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento will be able to assess your case and weigh your options depending on your individualized circumstances. He's successfully reduced the sentence of clients who've acquired drug charges and has managed to even get some of his client's cases dismissed, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today.