Controlled Substance – In Drug Crime Law
A controlled substance is well-defined in Code of Virginia § 54.1-3401, as a drug or substance listed in Schedule I through VI of the Virginia Drug Control Act. Tobacco and alcohol are not included in this definition of a controlled substance; laws leading alcohol and tobacco are included elsewhere in the Code.
“Controlled substance” means a drug, substance, or immediate precursor in Schedules I through VI of this chapter. The term shall not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco as those terms are defined or used in Title 3.2 or Title 4.1. The term “controlled substance” includes a controlled substance analog that has been placed into Schedule I or II by the Board pursuant to the regulatory authority in subsection D of § 54.1-3443.”
Drugs classified in the schedules in Virginia’s Drug Control Act
Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use, and include heroin and LSD.
Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse and severe dependence, but have a currently accepted medical use. Schedule II drugs include PCP, cocaine, methadone, and methamphetamine.
Schedule III drugs have less potential for abuse than Schedule II drugs, a potential for moderate dependency and an accepted medical use. Anabolic steroids and codeine fall into this category.
Schedule IV drugs have less potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs, a limited potential for dependency, and are accepted in medical treatment. Schedule IV drugs include Valium, Xanax and other tranquilizers and sedatives.
Schedule V drugs have a low potential for abuse, limited risk for dependency and accepted medical uses. These include drugs like cough medicines with codeine.
Schedule VI includes certain materials which are not “drugs” in the conventional sense, but are nonetheless used, or abused, recreationally; these include toluene and similar inhalants such as amyl nitrite, butyl nitrite, and nitrous oxide. Many state and local governments impose age limits on the sale of products containing these materials.
Drugs Crimes and Penalties in Virginia Law
The crime of drug possession occurs when a person possesses any controlled substance without a valid prescription (Code of Virginia § 18.2-250). The crime of drug sale or distribution occurs when a person sells, provides, gives away, delivers, or distributes a controlled substance. The crime drug manufacturing occurs when a person produces a controlled substance without legal authorization or possesses chemicals used in the manufacture of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture.
Penalties of drugs crimes in Virginia according to the law:
“The provisions of this section shall not apply to members of state, federal, county, city or town law-enforcement agencies, jail officers, or correctional officers, as defined in § 53.1-1, certified as handlers of dogs trained in the detection of controlled substances when possession of a controlled substance or substances is necessary in the performance of their duties.”