What Type of Drug Is Marijuana?

What Type of Drug Is Marijuana?

Marijuana (cannabis) is one of the most well-recognized drugs. Every drug is classified differently, and there are many different classifications possible. One way to classify a drug is by its "schedule." According to both the U.S. and Arizona Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is a Schedule I drug. There are five possible schedules that both prescription and illegal narcotics can be classified under. Schedule V drugs are those that have the least potential for abuse while Schedule I drugs have the highest potential for abuse.

Most states have heavier penalties for Schedule I drug crimes than lesser-schedule drug crimes. In states like California, however, possession of cannabis for personal use is typically only charged as an infraction, similar to a motor vehicle violation. Other drugs that fall under the Schedule I category are heroin and LSD.

Drugs can also be classified by their potential medical uses. Marijuana is a kind of drug that does have recognized medical uses, which is why it is legal in the state of Arizona to possess marijuana for personal use so long as the quantity is within state guidelines. A qualifying medical cannabis patient may receive their marijuana from a dispensary, while others grow their own at home. Some known medical uses for marijuana include nausea and vomiting relief, chronic pain and relief to those going through chemotherapy treatments.

Cannabis is also considered a psychoactive drug, because it affects the central nervous system. Chemicals released by ingestion of the cannabis plant can result in altered brain function. The manifestations of altered brain function affect individuals differently, but some of the most common psychoactive effects of marijuana are alterations in perception, mood, cognition and behavior.

Marijuana is also often classified as a "gateway drug." This theory holds that the use of marijuana makes it easier for an individual to transition onto more severe and potentially damaging drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine. While some believe that marijuana use will inevitably lead to addiction to harder drugs, others believe the research does not support this conclusion.

Another way to classify marijuana is by how it is prepared/cultivated. One of the most popular ways to manufacture marijuana is for pipe use. This is called "pipe resin" and appears as dried, dark green leaves. Hashish is another popular form of marijuana, which is a cake or ball-type object that can vary in color from light brown to black. Cannabis can even be concentrated into an oil, called "essential oil" or "hash oil."

If you have been arrested or charged with a marijuana-related crime, please do not hesitate to contact our firm. Knowles Law Firm, PLC's Phoenix criminal defense attorneys have years of experience dealing with drug crimes such as this. We know the tactics it takes to build a successful case, so call us today!


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