Virginia Drug Schedules

Any narcotics classified under the federal narcotics schedule or controlled substances schedule is or can be illegal. Controlled dangerous substances are any substances listed in any Schedule of the Federal Drug Control Act. The most common drugs are familiar substances like marijuana, which is illegal in Virginia, cocaine, heroin, PCP, and the methamphetamine family of drugs. Illegal drugs also include substances that are illegal only if they are possessed by someone to whom they are not prescribed, the most commonly abused drugs in this family are opiate-based painkillers, which includes Oxycodone, Oxycontin. The Schedule of controlled dangerous substances in Virginia is identical to the federal list and as such anyone accused of a related offense should consult with a Virginia drug lawyer.


Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and there is no accepted medical use. That includes drugs like heroin and LSD. Schedule II drugs also have a high potential for abuse and severe dependency, but they do have some medical use. Cocaine or methadone are included in that Schedule.

Schedule III drugs have the potential for abuse and moderate dependency and include such substances as codeine and the codeine family of drugs. Schedule IV drugs have less potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs and limited potential for dependency, but they do have accepted medical treatment. This includes valium, Xanax, and other tranquilizers and sedatives.

Schedule V drugs have a low potential for abuse, a limited risk for dependency, and they have accepted medical uses, like cough medicine. Finally, Schedule VI substances are not drugs in a conventional sense, but they include substances that can be used as recreational inhalants.

Prescription Drugs

There are certain drugs that appear on the controlled substances schedule that can only be legally possessed if they are prescribed to the person possessing them, by a licensed physician, and they are acquired through legal means, such as through a pharmacy. This includes prescription drugs and, may include medicinal marijuana on a limited basis in 2017 if the current senate bill is approved. If, however, a person has a valid prescription for a substance, such as oxycontin, but they try to score it on the street corner, it is an illegal purchase because it was not acquired through legal means so that the government can track it.


Possession of a Schedule III substance and higher is a misdemeanor offense, whereas possession of Schedule I or II drugs is a class five felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. If a drug is a Schedule I or Schedule II substance on the controlled substance’s Schedule, possession of that drug constitutes a felony in Virginia. If the drug is Schedule III, Schedule IV, or marijuana, possession is classified as a misdemeanor. Similarly, distribution of Schedule I or II drug is treated more harshly than the distribution of marijuana, Schedule III, or Schedule IV drugs.