Schedule of Drug Offenses

Colorado Drug Schedules and Classifications

Criminal offenses involving drugs in Denver, Douglas or Arapahoe, or in any other county within Colorado carry a wide range of penalties. One of the many considerations concerning the seriousness of a drug crime and the subsequent related penalty has to do with how a particular drug is classified. There are five major drug classifications in Colorado.

Drug Schedules I-V

According to C.R.S. 18-18-203, a schedule I drug is defined as having a high potential for abuse, having no currently acceptable medical use in treatment in the United States and one lacking accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Unless a person is a researcher registered under federal law to conduct research with that particular controlled substance, it is a crime in Adams, Jefferson or Larimer County, and anywhere in Colorado to dispense or to be in possession of a schedule I controlled substance, C.R.S. 18-18-414(a). It is important to note that if a drug is developed that is not on the list, but it is "substantially similar to the chemical structure" of one of the substances listed, or was "specifically designed to produce an effect substantially similar to or greater than the effect" of that substance, it is also included. Examples of schedule I drugs are heroin, hashish and Ecstasy.

Schedule II controlled substances are defined under C.R.S. 18-18-204. They also have a high potential for abuse. The main difference is that schedule II substances have a recognized medical use. It is illegal to dispense a schedule II drug, unless it is from a pharmacy pursuant to a written order or a practitioner in the course of his or her professional practice. Examples of schedule II drugs include cocaine, oxycodone (OxyContin) and methadone.

Schedule III controlled substances have less potential for abuse than schedule I and II drugs, and are not as addictive. Some of the compounds in this category actually contain smaller amounts of the substances found in schedule II. Vicodin is an example of a schedule III substance because it contains less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone.

Schedule IV (drugs like Darvon) and V (many cough control products with codeine) controlled substances are listed in C.R.S. 18-8-206 and 207, respectively. While schedules III, IV and V controlled substances require dispensing from a pharmacist or a practitioner, the order may be given through electronic or oral means (as opposed to a written order only).

Call Us to Protect Your Future

Other variables play a significant role in determining whether a person is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony when possessing or distributing controlled substances illegally. If you are facing drug possession, manufacturing or distribution charges in Weld or as far away as Montrose County, you will need to talk with a knowledgeable attorney to help sort out what you may be facing. Call the attorneys at O'Malley Law Office, P.C. first. Don't speak to the police, but be smart, exercise your right to remain silent and call us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

Facing Charges? Get Help Now!