Drug Penalties And Enforcement
The federal government decides if and how a drug should be controlled. Psychoactive (mind-altering) chemicals are categorized according to Schedule I-V. This schedule designates if the drug can be prescribed by a physician and under what conditions. Factors considered in this categorization include a drug's known and potential medical value, its potential for physical or psychological dependence, and risk, if any, to public health. Penalties for the illegal sale or distribution of a drug are established using the designation of Schedule I-V. If you have knowledge of a drug-related felony you must report it to a law enforcement official. Below are Federal Trafficking Penalties as of January 1, 1997:
- Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse with no medical use. Production of these drugs is controlled. Examples include heroin, methaqualone, all hallucinogens (phencyclidine analogs can be I or II), marijuana and hashish. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), depending on its form, can also be a Schedule II drug.
- Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse and have some medical uses with severe restrictions.
Production of these drugs is controlled. Examples include opium, morphine, codeine,
some other narcotics, barbiturates, cocaine, amphetamine/methamphetamine and phencyclidine
- Federal and State of Alabama penalties for selling Schedule I and II drugs vary with the quantity of the drug. Additionally, if death or serious injury is associated with the sale and/or if it is a second offense, penalties are more severe. When establishing penalties for sale of marijuana, hashish and hashish oil, the quantity and/or if it is a second offense are considered. The federal penalties for marijuana less than 50 kg mixture, hashish 10 kg or more, and hashish oil 1 kg or more are similar to those set for III drugs. Marijuana quantities above 50 kg mixture or 50 plants are penalized according to quantity, number of offenses, and/or if serious injury or death. These penalties are similar to those listed for Schedule I and II.
- The federal penalty for first-offense sale of small amounts of Schedule I and II drugs is not less than five years/not more than 40 years; if death or serious injury, not less than 20 years or more than life; fine of not more than $2 million individual/$5 million other than individual."
- Schedule III, IV, and V drugs include those that most citizens would categorize as "prescription drugs." Schedule
III drugs have some potential for abuse, but less than I and II. The potential for
abuse of Schedule IV drugs is less than Schedule III, and Schedule V is less than
IV. All Schedule III-V drugs have accepted medical uses and production is not controlled.
Examples of these drugs include anabolic steroids (III), some narcotics, some barbiturates
and other depressants which are not classified as I or II.
The federal penalty for first-offense sale of a Schedule III drug is "Not more than five years; fine of not more than $25,000 individual/$1 million not individual. The federal penalty for first offense sale of Schedule IV drugs is not more than three years." The fine is the same as for Schedule III drugs. The federal penalty for first-offense sale of Schedule V drugs is not more than one year, fine of not more than $100,000 individual/$250,000 not individual."
Sale of some Schedule III drugs is a felony and has a State of Alabama penalty of "up to seven years; or a fine up to $5,000; or both." The State of Alabama penalty for sale of Schedule IV drugs is a felony and has a penalty of up to four years; or a fine up to $2,000, or both. Sale of Schedule V drugs in the State of Alabama is also a felony and has a state penalty of up to two years, or a fine up to $2,000, or both."