Controlled Substance Schedules

Virginia Law places the variety of controlled substances into one of 4 ‘schedules’ or categories. These categories vary based on the following criteria:

Schedule I

1. [The substance] has high potential for abuse; and

2. [The substance] has no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision.


Va. Code § 54.1-3445

Schedule II

1. The substance has high potential for abuse;

2. The substance has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, or currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions; and

3. The abuse of the substance may lead to severe psychic or physical dependence.

Va. Code §  54.1-3447

Schedule III

1. The substance has a potential for abuse less than the substances listed in Schedules I and II;

2. The substance has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; and

3. Abuse of the substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.


Va. Code § 54.1-3449

Schedule IV

1. The substance has a low potential for abuse relative to substances in Schedule III;

2. The substance has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; and

3. Abuse of the substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the substances in Schedule III.


Va. Code § 54.1-3451

These Schedules are used frequently throughout the code to determine whether or not there are legal reason to posses or manufacture a substance, how one may posses or manufacture a substance, weight limits for certain legal thresholds, and sentencing ranges for various offenses. Click on a Schedule above to view a list of all substances within that schedule*.

If you have been charged with a crime related to any scheduled drug, contact our office. Our attorneys, Farheena Siddiqui and Brian Szmak can discuss your options and representation needs.

*As of 3/9/2020