Schedule I and II Drugs

Illinois classifies drugs into several schedules, much like the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classification system. The purpose of the classification system is to make it easier to determine how severe the punishments should be for possessing, manufacturing, or selling the wide variety of chemical substances that people use recreationally. Each schedule contains drugs that, in the eyes of the authorities, pose similar risks to the population. Some of the factors that the government looks at in determining how to schedule a drug are:

  • The actual or relative potential for abuse
  • The scientific evidence if its pharmacological effect
  • The state of scientific knowledge on the drug
  • The historical and current pattern of abuse
  • The scope, duration, and significance of abuse
  • The drug’s risk to public health
  • How much physical or psychological dependence the drug induces
  • Whether the substance leads to the use of another illegal substance
  • The effects of an overdose
  • The long range effects of use or abuse

Drawing on the information contained in the Illinois Controlled Substance Act (720 ILCS 570), this article will describe some of the drugs contained in schedules I and II and some of the penalties for using them. The list of drugs in schedules I and II are expansive and ever-changing as new drugs emerge on the market. If you’re unsure of whether a substance is listen in schedule I or II, consult 720 ILCS 570, Article II, sections 204 and 206.

What Are Schedule I Drugs?

Schedule I drugs are those which the authorities take the most seriously. These are substances that have a high risk for abuse, and no accepted medical use—meaning they are unsafe to use in a course of treatment, even under close medical supervision. Some common schedule I drugs include:

What Are Schedule II Drugs?

Schedule II describes drugs that have a high potential for abuse and that can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. On the other hand, their use for medical treatment is accepted in the United States—albeit with severe restrictions. Some popular schedule II drugs include:

  • Coca leaves
  • Cocaine
  • Opium
  • Poppy straw and poppy tea
  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Amphetamine
  • Dextromethorphane (DXM)
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone

What Are the Penalties for Possessing Schedule I and II Drugs?

The penalties for possessing schedule I and II drugs are often the same, since both categories encompass the most of the popular and most potent narcotics used in America today. For example, the possession of any substance containing any quantity of either cocaine, heroin, or morphine is considered a Class 1 Felony, with penalties as follows:

  • Between 15 and 100 grams — 4 to 15 years of prison along with a possible fine of $200,000.
  • Between 100 and 400 grams — punishable by 6 to 30 years prison terms and optional fines that may reach $200,000 or the full street value of the drugs.
  • Between 400 and 900 grams — 8 to 40 years prison sentence along with a fine that may be either $200,000 or the full street value of the drugs.
  • Over 900 grams — 10 to 50 years’ imprisonment plus a fine of $200,000 or the full street value of the drugs

For substances containing any quantity of methamphetamine, the penalties are as following:

  • Less than 5 grams — Class 3 Felony punishable by 2 to 5 years in prison along with a fine reaching $32,000.
  • Between 5 and 15 grams — Class 2 Felony involving a prison term of 3 to 7 years and a fine of up to $25,000.
  • Between 15 and 100 grams — Class 1 Felony with 4 to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
  • Between 200 and 400 grams — Class X Felony punishable by 6 to 30 years in jail and fines reaching $100,000.
  • Between 400 and 900 grams — Class X Felony with an 8 to 40 years prison sentence along with a fine of up to $200,000.
  • Over 900 grams — Class X Felony involving 10 to 50 years’ imprisonment plus a fine of up to $300,000.

The possession of any substance containing LSD is a Class 1 Felony, involving following penalties:

  • Between 15 and 100 grams, or 15 to 199 tabs — 4 to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000.
  • Between 100 and 400 grams, or 200 to 599 tabs — 6 to 30 years prison term and fines of $200,000 or the full street value.
  • Between 400 and 900 grams, or 600 to 1,499 tabs — 8 to 40 years prison sentence along with a fine of up to $200,000 or the full street price.
  • Over 900 grams or more than 1,500 tabs — 10 to 50 years of imprisonment plus a fine of $200,000 or the drug’s street value.

Fighting Your Illinois Scheduled Drug Possession Charges

When you get charged with the possession of a schedule I or II drug, you could face a felony conviction involving the highest allowed jail time along with fines. But you stand a chance of avoiding these penalties if you hire a skilled Chicago criminal defense attorney. He or she may be able to successfully motion for your charges’ dismissal, get an acquittal at trial, obtain a beneficial guilty plea, or request a reduced sentence in the event of a guilty verdict.

When the police enter a home or stop and search a vehicle based on the suspicion that a suspect possesses drugs, the police frequently breach that suspect’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. If your lawyer can demonstrate that the officer who entered your home or searched your vehicle was violating your constitutional rights, the evidence from that search cannot be used to prove your guilt.

Chicago criminal defense attorney Michael O’Meara of O’Meara Law LLC began his legal career over twenty years ago working as a prosecutor. Now he puts his experience of working on thousands of criminal cases to use towards protecting the rights of the accused. If you’re facing charges and need help, you can call today at for a free and confidential consultation of your case.