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Classifying Controlled Dangerous Substances

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Under N.J.S. § 2C:35-10, it is illegal to possess, sell or distribute specific compounds known as “controlled dangerous substances,” or CDS. The drugs are categorized by the New Jersey Department of Health and separated into five different “schedules.” If you have been accused of a drug crime in New Jersey, you should understand how the state classifies these substances. To help you to get a better idea, we discuss the classification of CDS in New Jersey. In order to discuss the specific facts of your case if you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a CDS-related crime, you should contact the Law Office of Jason A. Volet, LLC, without delay. Call or reach us online today. Jason is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a criminal trial lawyer, and he is a former Monmouth County prosecutor. He focuses exclusively on criminal defense law and has an outstanding record of successfully representing people just like you. Get in touch with us now to meet with Jason in a free and confidential consultation through our office in Freehold or Neptune.

What Is a Controlled Dangerous Substance?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established and released the classifications, or schedules, of drugs through the Controlled Substances Act in 1970. They are classified based on several different criteria, including:

  • Medical use
  • How the substance affects the human body
  • Risk of abuse and historical patterns of abuse
  • The impact on public health
  • Risk of dependence.

The Department of Health will consider if a drug has “acceptable medical use” and will evaluate its potential for dependency or abuse. Abuse rates are a significant factor that goes into the scheduling of substances.

Why Does a Drug’s Schedule Matter?

A drug’s schedule matters because the schedule establishes the legal groundwork for the regulation of a controlled substance by the federal government. The substances with the strictest regulations, Schedule I and II drugs, can only be researched or used medicinally with the Drug Enforcement Agency’s approval. Federal laws can conflict with state laws, and that can lead to unusual scenarios. For instance, many states like Colorado and, more recently, California, have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. However, because marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug by the federal government, marijuana businesses often have difficulty opening bank accounts and are prohibited from deducting many expenses related to the sale of state-legal drugs.

Controlled Dangerous Substance Schedules in New Jersey

The specific CDS schedules in New Jersey are based upon the drug’s medical use and potential for abuse. The schedules are as follows: Schedule I – Per N.J.S. § 24:21-5, drugs in this schedule have no medical use and have a high potential for abuse and dependency. Drugs in this schedule include:

  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Ecstacy
  • MDMA
  • LSD.

Schedule II – According to N.J.S. § 24:21-6, drugs in this schedule do have a recognized medical use. However, they could be physically and psychologically addictive, which gives them a high risk of abuse. Drugs in this schedule include:

  • Cocaine
  • Oxycodone
  • Opioids
  • Fentanyl
  • Methamphetamine
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • PCP
  • Ritalin
  • Vicodin (Hydrocodone)
  • Adderall, Dexedrine (amphetamines)
  • Nembutal
  • Dilaudid.

Schedule III – N.J.S. § 24:21-7 establishes that these drugs do have the potential for abuse and dependency. However, the risk is not as severe as the risk with Schedule II substances. Schedule III drugs include:

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Buprenorphine
  • Medications with codeine
  • Ketamine
  • Testosterone.

Schedule IV – Per N.J.S. § 24:21-8, these drugs have a lower potential for abuse and addiction than those in the schedules listed above. These drugs include:

  • Ambien (Zolpidem)
  • Klonopin (Clonazepam)
  • Propoxyphene and acetaminophen (Darvocet)
  • Valium (Diazepam)
  • Xanax (Alprazolam).

Schedule V – The drugs in Schedule V, according to N.J.S. § 24:21-9, have a low potential for abuse and addiction. They typically have trace amounts of CDS.

  • Less than 200mg of codeine
  • Less than 100mg of dihydrocodeine
  • Less than 100mg of opium
  • Less than 100mg of ethylmorphine
  • Less than 2.5mg of diphenoxylate.

Get Help from a New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Lawyer

If you have been charged with a drug crime in New Jersey, it is crucial that you hire an attorney right away to represent you. While navigating the legal system can be challenging, the right lawyer could help you to fight these allegations and preserve your freedom, your livelihood and your reputation. The stakes are too high to not get legal help. Attorney Jason A. Volet and his team know how stressful and frightening the prospect of a criminal drug trial and a potential conviction can be. We are here to give you the qualified legal counsel that you can depend on. We are ready to stand up and fight for you. Being arrested and charged with a crime doesn’t automatically mean that you will be convicted. Nor does it mean that you will be forced to accept the harshest of possible penalties. Instead, it means that there is work to be done, and our team is prepared to do that work tirelessly for you. We will investigate your arrest, examine the evidence the prosecution intends to introduce and work to build a strong defense on your behalf. With skilled legal representation, it may be possible to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. Attorney Volet is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a criminal trial lawyer, and as a former prosecutor, he knows how the prosecutor will likely approach your case. With the team at the Law Office of Jason A. Volet on your side, you can rest easier knowing that you will have an experienced litigator who is exclusively focused on criminal defense working for you. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are ready to put our experience to work for you.

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