Is a Schedule 3 Drug a Controlled Substance in Florida?
In an effort to manage drug distribution and establish consequences for selling or using them illegally, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration created a system to classify various controlled substances and some of the chemicals used to make them. These five categories, or “schedules,” are based on the drugs’ potential for abuse and whether they have any acceptable medical uses. Here’s what you need to know about controlled substances and drug laws in the U.S. and Florida.
What Are Controlled Substances?
The Controlled Substances Act is a law that regulates the production, distribution and use of many types of drugs. It defines the DEA’s scheduling system and provides a mechanism for categorizing new substances, changing drug classifications or decontrolling them altogether. By definition, all drugs named and categorized under this act are controlled substances.
The scheduling system essentially “ranks” drugs from the highest to lowest potential for abuse and risk of users developing a dependence, based on current scientific evidence of the substances’ side effects. For example, heroin is a Schedule 1 drug because it not only has no accepted benefits in medical treatment, but it is also highly addictive and dangerous.
The DEA defines Schedule 3 substances as having a “moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.” Schedule 3 drugs have currently acceptable medical applications in the U.S. and include ketamine, anabolic steroids and Tylenol with less than 90 mg of codeine per dose.
Florida Statute 893.03
At the federal level, the DEA oversees the Controlled Substances Act. At the state level, Chapter 893 of Florida’s state statutes defines drug abuse prevention and control. Like the Controlled Substances Act, Florida Statute 893.03 lists the controlled substances under Schedules 1 through 5 with their official, common, usual, chemical, trade name, or class designation.
Though the Controlled Substances Act describes Schedule 3 drugs as moderately dangerous with a relatively low risk of physical and psychological dependence, they possess some medical benefits and are legally available with a physician’s prescription. However, obtaining and using Schedule 3 controlled substances without a prescription is illegal and risky. If you possess, distribute, sell or manufacture any controlled substance, you are breaking state and federal laws, and if you get caught, the consequences can include fines and jail time.
In Florida, Schedule 3 drug charges can be either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on factors such as the amount of the controlled substance involved. While the legal penalties for a misdemeanor are less severe, they are still serious charges, and having a criminal record can cast a shadow over your future.
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