Understanding Minnesota’s drug schedules

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2021 | Criminal defense

If police recently charged you with a drug crime in Minnesota, you are not alone. Every year, thousands of individuals end up facing criminal penalties for possessing or selling controlled substances. When dealing with this kind of charge, understanding drug schedules can be helpful.

In a nutshell, scheduling is a type of categorizing that governments use to classify different types of controlled schedules. Whatever schedule your drug charge falls under will determine what kinds of penalties you can possibly face.

There are five drug schedules

In total, there are five drug schedules according to Minnesota law. Substances in each schedule vary. Drugs include opiates, hallucinogens, central nervous system depressants, stimulants and other types. Some are illegal in all circumstances, but many are available with a prescription.

Most of the state law resembles federal drug regulations

When it comes to Minnesota’s drug schedule, it looks very similar to the federal one. However, there are some differences. In Minnesota, for example, the law allows for more leniency around some “soft” Schedule I substances such as cannabis.

Lower schedules have higher penalties

If law enforcement charges you for a Schedule I substance, you can face higher penalties than if your charge is for a Schedule II or III substance. Fines can range up from hundreds to $1 million alongside prison sentences of up to 30 years. The unique circumstances of your case will determine your results.

Drug charges can turn life upside down, but understanding the law can help give you a clearer picture of what to expect.