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The Controlled Substances Act is the federal statute that guides our national drug policy. Under this act, all illicit drugs, prescription medications, controlled substances and even certain chemical compounds are categorized into one of five classifications, referred to as schedules.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) plays a large role in determining how a particular substance should be scheduled, based on the substance's recognized medical use and its potential for abuse or addiction. Michigan, like most other states, has adopted this same scheduling system.
The term "drug" is very broadly defined in Michigan. It can include illegal drugs, prescription drugs and/or homeopathic drugs, in other words herbal remedies. Any substance taken into the body that causes impairment or intoxication can be used as a basis to charge DUI drugs in Michigan.
Due to the penalties that can result from a conviction for a drug DUI in Michigan, it is very important to contact an attorney.Drug Schedules
Although there are many different types of drugs, the five drug schedules are as follows:
- Schedule I: These substances are considered to have the highest potential for abuse and no known or accepted medical uses. Examples include marijuana, acid (LSD), psilocybin (mushrooms), heroin, and ecstasy (MDMA).
- Schedule II: Substances that are considered to have high potential for abuse along with some accepted medical uses. Some examples include cocaine, opium, and certain painkillers such as morphine and codeine.
- Schedule III: These substances have a lower potential for abuse and more widely accepted medical applications. Barbiturates, anabolic steroids, and certain narcotic compounds are included in this category.
- Schedule IV: These drugs have a low potential for abuse and many accepted medical uses. Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, Valium and ephedrine are examples.
- Schedule V: Drugs in this category are considered to have the lowest potential for abuse. Examples include compounds containing very small amounts of narcotics.
You can be arrested and charged with impaired or drugged driving if you are found operating a vehicle while under the influence of any scheduled substance. If a police officer believes you are visibly impaired due to a controlled substance, you may face criminal charges.
The person who drives under the influence of any kind of drug can be charged and is potentially guilty of the same exact crime as driving under the influence or while intoxicated because of alcohol. The only difference is instead of the alcohol causing the intoxication, it is the drug that's causing intoxication. The type of proof that is necessary on behalf of the state differs depending on what type of drug it is and more specifically what category of law the drug falls into.Marijuana Decriminalization
As lawmakers across the country continue to consider marijuana reform, several Michigan cities have already taken action and decriminalized the possession and use of small amounts of weed. These cities include:
- Ann Arbor
- Grand Rapids
- Port Huron
Police forces in Michigan cities that have decriminalized weed still monitor and enforce our state's driving while impaired laws, and this will not change even if marijuana is legalized. In other words, should marijuana become legal to buy, sell, possess and use, it will still be illegal to drive if you are visibly impaired due to marijuana use. It is also worth noting that registered medical marijuana card holders are held to a different standard than those without a medical marijuana card.
If you are charged with DUI drugs under the suspicion of marijuana and you have a prescription card showing you are a medical marijuana card holder, then the prosecutor needs to show impairment or intoxication based on the THC in your system. If you are not a medical marijuana card holder then the prosecutor must only show that the marijuana is present—any amount, any number of nanograms can be used for that proof.Contact a Michigan DUI Drug Attorney Today
If you have been charged with impaired driving and are in need of legal counseling, you should contact an experienced Michigan DUI drug lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you have the opportunity to build a strong defense and to fight for your rights.