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Michigan Drug Schedules

A controlled substance is a substance that appears on one of the various drug schedules in either or both the federal or state laws. The only real definition is that the drug has no recognized medical use. However, any drug that appears on any of the schedules is thought to be a dangerous drug. Therefore, for the most part, the definition is simply based on its category.

Due to the wide range of drugs that can be scheduled as dangerous and the variety of penalties that a person charged with manufacturing, possessing, or selling these drugs may face, it is very important for a person facing these crimes contacts a Michigan drug lawyer right away.  Drug crimes in Michigan can negatively impact a person’s life and their future, including their ability to get and/or hold certain jobs.  An experienced attorney can help build a strong defense to ensure that the defendant has the opportunity to combat the charges and penalties against them.


The scheduling of drugs in Michigan can differ slightly from the federal drug schedule.  Like all states, Michigan’s schedules are based on the federal schedules and they are very much the same, but not quite identical.

Differentiating Substances

The difference between the schedules are that they have different types of drugs on them. Schedule I is the type of drugs with no medical use and then the other schedules are based not just on whether they have some medical use but also the propensity for abuse and then some that have none of the above that are still considered to be dangerous drugs so they are on the schedule.

Schedule I drugs are the ones that have no accepted or recognized medical use, and then the rest of the schedules are moving from no medical use to a recognized medical use. Those would be the prescription drugs. The schedules that are in between are those that have some medical use but are also recognized as drugs that have a high degree of potential for abuse and physiological or psychological dependence.


The potential penalties in Michigan for drug crimes are dependent on the type and the amount of the drug possessed and whether it is simply in a person’s possession or if it is also a possession with intent to deliver. As it relates to sentencing, sentencing is a function of all of those factors combined with the person’s criminal record and the facts and circumstances of the case, but include also the type of drug involved.  Some drugs have greater penalties including more potential for jail or prison time than others.

In addition, if a person is harmed or injured in the commission of the crimes, then this will impact the sentencing guidelines, or if the person has prior convictions of any kind, those factors will play into what are called the sentencing guidelines, which would then provide a scenario under which the judge would be able to give a much more severe penalty.