Any charge for drug possession should be taken seriously. Having said that, North Carolina state law does indeed recognize that all controlled substances are not created equal. The severity of charges you may face for possession depends on the type of substance you were allegedly in possession of. Thus, the state has categorized different substances into a range of drug schedules. These schedules are defined by the potential for abuse of a substance, whether it has any recognized medical uses, as well as the chance that it may have in promoting the development of an addiction.

The state’s drug schedules can be found in Section 90-87 of the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act. They are broken down as follows:

  • Schedule I: These are substances that present a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical uses in the U.S. and are not considered safe even if used under the direction of a physician
  • Schedule II: These are substances that present a high potential for abuse, do have currently accepted medical uses (or are allowed to be used under severe restrictions) and whose use may lead to a severe psychological and/or physical dependence
  • Schedule III: These are substances that present a moderate potential for abuse, do have currently accepted medical uses, and whose use may lead to a mild dependence
  • Schedule IV: These are substances that present a low potential for abuse, do have currently accepted medical uses, and whose use may lead to a limited dependence
  • Schedule V: These are substances that do have currently accepted medical uses and present the lowest potential for abuse and the development of a dependence

Substances with no recognized medical uses, are believed to have a low potential for abuse or whose pharmacological effects need further study are grouped into Schedule VI.