What Is the Bulk Amount of Drugs in Ohio?

If you have been accused of a drug crime in Ohio, you might have come across the term "bulk amount." For instance, the law on drug possession says that it is a third-degree felony to have over the bulk amount of a Schedule I or II drug but no more than five times the bulk amount. But what exactly does this phrase mean? And how can it affect your case and the criminal charges you face?

Essentially, the bulk amount refers to a certain quantity of specific controlled substances. It is set by law and establishes the baseline for the level of the offense.

Because some drugs are considered more dangerous than others, one set bulk amount does not exist. Rather it varies based on the type of drug involved in the alleged crime and is typically lower for more severe substances.

What Is Ohio's Schedule of Controlled Substances?

Before delving into the bulk amounts for specific drugs, it is helpful to discuss Ohio's schedule of controlled substances. The bulk amounts are based on where a drug falls in the schedule unless exceptions exist.

  • In Ohio, both illicit drugs and prescription medications are separated into five different categories. The substances are placed into a specific group according to the severity of the drug.

The schedules are as follows:

  • Schedule I:
    • No accepted medical use
    • High potential for abuse
    • Can lead to severe psychological and/or physical dependence
  • Schedule II:
    • Accepted but highly restricted medical use
    • High potential for abuse
    • Can lead to severe psychological and/or physical dependence
  • Schedule III:
    • Accepted medical use
    • Potential for abuse is less than that for Schedule I or II drugs
    • Can lead to moderate psychological and/or physical dependence
  • Schedule IV:
    • Accepted medical use
    • Lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs
    • Can lead to low psychological or physical dependence
  • Schedule V:
    • Accepted medical use
    • Lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV drugs

What Are the Bulk Amounts for Controlled Substances?

As mentioned before, the bulk amount depends on which schedule the controlled substance is in. For the most part, it refers not just to the weight of the drug involved but the total amount of the compound, mixture, or preparation containing the substance. For instance, if a hallucinogenic substance is mixed with tobacco, the combined weight comprises the bulk amount.

Below are the bulk amounts for different controlled substances:

  • Schedule I opiate or opium derivative: 10 grams or more or 25 unit doses
  • Raw gum or opium: 10 grams or more
  • Schedule I hallucinogen, stimulant, or depressant: 30 grams or more or 10 doses
  • Schedule II opiate or opium derivative: 20 grams or more or 5 times the maximum daily doses
  • Phencyclidine (PCP): 5 grams or more or 10 unit doses
  • Schedule II stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogen: 120 grams or more or 30 times the maximum daily dose
  • Schedule II stimulant not in final dose form: 3 grams or more
  • Schedule III or Schedule IV substance: 120 grams or more or 30 times the maximum daily dose
  • Schedule III opiate or opium derivative: 20 grams or more or 5 times the maximum daily dose
  • Schedule V substance: 250 milliliters or more or 250 grams
  • Schedule III anabolic steroid: 200 solid dosage units or more, 16 grams, or 16 milliliters

How Do Bulk Amounts Affect Criminal Charges?

The baseline charge for a drug crime is typically levied when you have less than the bulk amount. They increase together.

For example, let's look at how the bulk amount affects the charges for possession of a Schedule I or II drug:

  • Less than the bulk amount:
    • Fifth-degree felony
  • Equal to or greater than the bulk amount but less than 5 times the bulk amount:
    • Third-degree felony
  • Equal to or greater than 5 times the bulk amount but less than 50 times the bulk amount:
    • Second-degree felony
  • Equal to or greater than 50 times the bulk amount but less than 100 times the bulk amount:
    • First-degree felony
  • Equal to or greater than 100 times the bulk amount:
    • First-degree felony
    • Major drug offender designation
    • Mandatory term of imprisonment

It must be noted that the drug crime laws do not always reference the bulk amount. In some cases, the actual weight of the substance is referenced.

For instance, possession of marijuana is listed as follows:

  • Less than 100 grams:
    • Minor misdemeanor
  • Greater than or equal to 100 grams but less than 200 grams:
    • Fourth-degree misdemeanor
  • Greater than or equal to 200 grams but less than 1,000 grams:
    • Fifth-degree felony
  • Greater than or equal to 1,000 grams but less than 5,000 grams:
    • Third-degree felony
  • Greater than or equal to 5,000 grams but less than 20,000 grams:
    • Third-degree felony
    • Presumption of prison term
  • Greater than or equal to 20,000 grams but less than 40,000 grams:
    • Second-degree felony
  • Greater than 40,000 grams:
    • Second-degree felony
    • Mandatory prison term

Controlled substance cases can be complicated, and it might be difficult to understand your charges or the penalties you are facing. If you have been accused, speak with a criminal defense lawyer about your case.

At Patituce & Associates, our Cleveland team has handled a range of complex drug crimes matters and are prepared to defend you. Contact us at (440) 709-8088 today.