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How does Georgia law determine drug categories?

The categorization of drugs might seem arbitrary and subject to different opinions. This point is illuminated by the fact that marijuana is a Schedule I drug on par with heroin in our state -- whereas it's legal for recreational and medical use in other states. There is clearly a difference of opinion here.

As residents of Georgia, however, we are subject to Georgia law. As such, let's take a look at how different substances are categorized in our state:

  • Schedule I substances: These are believed to have the most potential for abuse and dependency with the least potential for medical use. Some of the most popular Schedule I drugs are LSD, marijuana and heroin.
  • Schedule II substances: These substances are believed to come with an increased potential for dependency and abuse. They include cocaine, Adderall, meth and Fentanyl.
  • Schedule III substances: These include drugs that have a lower risk of dependency and abuse. They include steroids, ketamine and codeine.
  • Schedule IV substances: These include drugs with a more reduced risk of dependency and abuse such as Ambien, Ativan, Tramadol and Xanax.
  • Schedule V substances: The last category is believed to come with the least risks, but they are still controlled. They include certain codeine-based cough syrups with under 200 mg of codeine for every 100 ml.

The law in Georgia will continue to categories substances based on the above categories until it is changed. In the meantime, those accused of drug crimes will face the potential of increasingly severe punishments related to these categories. If you're facing drug charges, be sure to understand Georgia drug laws and what kind of punishments you might face in the event of conviction.

Source: FindLaw, "Georgia Drug Possession Laws," accessed Sep. 29, 2017

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