Understanding Tennesse drug schedules

On Behalf of | May 12, 2023 | Criminal Law

The consequences of a drug crime in Tennesee vary depending on a wide variety of factors. One way that the law differentiates drug offenses is by what type of drugs are being used or distributed.

Learn how Tennessee categorizes different types of drugs.

Tennessee drug schedules and federal drug schedules

Drug schedules recognized in Tennessee have some differences from the federal classifications created by the DEA. The DEA has five drug schedules whereas Tennessee has seven. However, in general, Tennessee’s classification of drugs is similar to the DEA’s, with Schedule I substances being the most dangerous, addictive or otherwise harmful.

Tennesse drug schedule breakdown

The breakdown of drug schedules in Tennessee is the following:

  • Schedule I drugs: Those which do not have a medical purpose and/or can be highly addictive.
  • Schedule II drugs: Those which can be highly addictive and frequently abused, but can also have medical applications.
  • Schedule III drugs: Less dangerous drugs that people may still abuse.
  • Schedule IV drugs: Less dangerous drugs that people may abuse but are common for medical use.
  • Schedule V drugs: Very common drugs with a low risk of addiction
  • Schedule VI drugs: A unique category for marijuana products and equivalents.
  • Schedule VII drugs: A unique category for butyl nitrate.

Generally, drug crimes involving the highest scheduled drugs, such as Schedule I or II, will result in steeper consequences. However, possession or distribution of any illegal drugs in Tennessee can lead to punishments including possible jail time. In some cases, going to rehab may be possible as an alternative to jail time.