Schedule I Drugs

February 22nd, 2023


There are five Controlled Dangerous Substances categories in Louisiana, based on the type of substance and its use. 

What is a Schedule I drug in Louisiana?

Schedule I drugs in Louisiana are a diverse category. When most people think of schedule I drugs, marijuana or heroin immediately come to mind. However, the reality is schedule I drugs include opiates and their derivatives, hallucinogenic substances, depressants, and stimulants; the statute specifically lists around 215 substances, and not all are considered narcotic drugs.

The law specifically makes it illegal to produce, manufacture, possess with the intent to produce, manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled dangerous substance, CDS, in schedule I. This includes the cultivation, possession, or distribution of hemp and hemp products. I mostly see cases dealing with marijuana, heroin, and synthetic cannabinoids. 


Penalties for producing, manufacturing, or distributing marijuana

The penalty for producing, manufacturing, and possessing with the intent to produce marijuana alters depending on weight.

* If the aggregate weight is less than two and one-half pounds, the sentence is not less than one year nor more than 10, and up to a fifty thousand dollar fine.

* If the aggregate weight is two and a half pounds or more, the sentencing range is not less than one year or more than twenty years, and up to a fifty thousand dollar fine.

Penalties for Possession of Marijuana

* Possession of less than fourteen grams, a fine of up to $100

* More than 14 grams, up six months in jail, and up to a $500 fine

Because of the relaxed nature of marijuana possession, people often don’t realize the penalties for possession still increase. A third conviction of possession of over 14 grams is a felony. A fourth such offense has jail exposure of up to eight years. The belief the legislature has decriminalized marijuana is not entirely accurate.


Penalties for Possession of a Synthetic Cannabinoid

The penalties for synthetic cannabinoids are more strict than those of marijuana. A first conviction is a misdemeanor punishable with up to six months in jail and up to a $500 fine. However, a second conviction is a felony punishable with up to five years in prison and up to a $250 fine. The punishments increase if convicted of a third offense or more. 


Penalty for producing, manufacturing, or distributing heroin 

Heroin is arguably the most severe of Schedule I drugs. Producing, manufacturing, and distributing heroin is punishable with a minimum of five years, up to forty years at hard labor, and up to a fifty thousand dollar fine. 

Penalty for Possession of Heroin

* Possession of less than two grams of heroin is punishable with two to four years of hard labor.

* Possession of two grams but less than twenty-eight grams is punishable with a minimum of two and up to 10 years of hard labor and up to a $5000 fine.

As you can see, the penalties for heroin are the most severe of the schedule I drugs. 

Other common schedule I drugs are Ecstasy and LSD. Schedule I drugs have no medical benefit and are highly addictive.

Keep in mind the laws and interpretations are continually changing. The above references laws in effect as of 2022 outlined in LSA R.S. 40:966. As rulings come down from different courts and jurisdictions, these rules are apt to change. 

If you or someone you know has a question about possession of a schedule I drug and wants to discuss the process and defenses, do not hesitate to contact the law office of Larrion L. Hillman at 318-549-9810. This blog is not intended as legal advice, nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. Larrion Hillman practices criminal defense in Caddo Parish, Webster Parish, Bossier Parish, Shreveport, and Bossier City, Louisiana. And remember, keep calm and let Hillman handle it.


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