Any criminal accusation leveled against a person in Lakewood is a serious manner (particularly when it involves either drug possession or abuse). Indeed, a drug charge can leave one facing potentially stiff criminal penalties while also sullying their reputation and their standing in the community. 

Yet not all drug charges are equal. According to information shared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as recently as 2017 law enforcement authorities made 1,632,921 drug-related arrests nationwide. Those included in those numbers every year from Colorado will see the penalties they face differ depending on the substance officials accuse them of possessing. 

Different drug schedules for different controlled substances 

Colorado’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act details five distinct drug schedules. The different categories depend on a substance’s recognized medical uses as well as its potential for abuse and for users to develop a dependency on it. They are: 

  • Schedule I: Substances presenting a high potential for abuse with no currently recognized medical uses and whose use is not safe even under medical supervision 
  • Schedule II: Substances presenting a high potential for abuse that do have medically recognized uses and on which users have a high probability of developing a physical or psychological dependency 
  • Schedule III: Substances presenting a lower potential for abuse than the aforementioned schedules that have medically recognized uses and on which users have a moderate to low probability of developing a dependency 
  • Schedule IV: Substances presenting a low potential for abuse with medically recognized uses and on which users have a limited chance of developing a dependency 
  • Schedule V: Substances presenting both the lowest potential for abuse and dependency that have medically recognized uses 

Penalties differing for possession, abuse and intent to distribute 

Drug charges may range from simple possession to abuse. Depending on the quantity allegedly found in one’s possession, law enforcement authorities may also infer an intent to distribute.