If you ever watch the news or read stories online, you have likely seen or heard about cases in which people have been arrested and charged with drug-related crimes in Tennessee. You have likely noticed that the types of charges and the penalties that may be associated with those charges can vary quite a bit. What exactly contributes to this great variance? Many things can factor into exactly what charges are brought against someone or what penalties they may face if convicted. One of the factors can be what type of drug is involved in the alleged offense.
As explained by the Tennessee Code in its Tennessee Drug Statutes Chart, the state outlines seven distinct levels of drugs to which different criminal charges may be aligned. These levels are referred to as Schedules I through VII. Substances are classified based largely upon two criteria - their accepted use for medicinal purposes in the United States and their potential for abuse and addiction.
Schedule VII substances are those identified to be the least addictive or least likely to be abused relative to drugs in the other Schedules. They also are known to be used for medical purposes. Schedule I substances are those which are not used medically or which have insufficient safety measures in place for their medical use. Criminal offenses involving drugs in any schedule may result in felony charges.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to offer Tennessee residents an understanding of how the state classifies different drugs and associated criminal charges.