Drug possession in itself can be a crime charged in court. However, some states in the United States may have different versions of the same law. This principle applies in North Carolina.
Under North Carolina law, drugs are actually classified under “Schedules.” There are different penalties for possessing and distributing these substances depending on the “Schedule” they are categorized in. This can be an effective way of easily determining the severity of the punishment involved in such a crime.
In fact, North Carolina’s criminal statutes discuss these laws regarding controlled substances in Statutes 90 to 95. These statutes state that it is illegal to possess controlled substances in North Carolina. However, the penalties for such possession depend on the kind of drug, the amount of the drug, and if the individual has other convictions.
Schedule I drugs have no accepted medical use. They have a high potential for substance abuse, and can be potentially dangerous to others. Examples include heroin, LSD, Ecstasy and peyote. This is a Class I felony. However, if the substance is in less than 1 gram, then it is Class 1 misdemeanor.
Schedule II drugs are substances that have a high potential for abuse and tendency. Oxycodone, morphine, opium, codeine, amphetamine and hydromorphone are included in this category.
The manufacture of these drugs (Schedules I and II) can be considered a Class G felony. However, if methamphetamine is manufactured, then it is a Class C felony. Packaging or labeling them is a Class H felony.
Schedule III drugs have less potential for abuse compared to the first two. However, they still have moderate potential for physical dependency. Meanwhile, they are found to have a high chance of getting psychological tendency. These include combined products with less than 15 grams of hydrocodone as Vicodin; products with less than 90 milligrams of codeine such as Tylenol with codeine, ketamine, anabolic steroids and benzphetamine.
Schedule IV drugs have less potential for abuse than Schedule III substances. These include Xanax, lorazepam, diazepam or Valium, and carisoprodol.
Schedules II through IV are considered Class 1 misdemeanors, with some exceptions being Class I felonies.
Schedule V drugs are substances that have low potential for abuse and dependency. These include cough drops that contain less than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters of ezogabine. Illegally possessing these substances can be considered a Class 2 misdemeanor.
There’s a Schedule VI category that includes marijuana and its related products. It can be noted at this point that medical marijuana is illegal in North Carolina. Possessing these drugs can carry a Class 3 misdemeanor charge.
Manufacturing drugs of Schedules III to VI can be considered a Class I felony, with their sale considered a Class H felony.
Those who would like to know more about the specifics of crimes in North Carolina may contact lawyers and legal experts from nearby courts for consultations.