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Federal Trafficking Penalties

Drug Free Schools Act — Federal Trafficking Penalties

Full Drug Free Schools Act Memo (.pdf 77 KB)

The penalties for drug trafficking under the Federal Controlled Substances Act ("CSA") are summarized in the following tables. The CSA classifies controlled substances into five schedules (Roman numerals I-V), based on the substance's potential for abuse, medical use, and risk of dependence. Schedule I and II drugs have the highest potential for abuse, and Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse.

Federal Trafficking Penalties – All Drugs, Except Marijuana
As of November 18, 1988

CSA I & II Penalty
Drug and Quantity 1st Offense 2nd Offense
  • Methamphetamine - 10-99 gm or 100-999 gm mixture
  • Heroin - 100-999 gm mixture
  • Cocaine - 500 gm - 4.999 kg mixture
  • Cocaine Base - 5-49 gm mixture
  • PCP - 10-99 gm or 100-999 gm mixture
  • LSD - 1-9 gm mixture
  • Fentanyl - 40-399 gm mixture
  • Fentanyl Analogue - 10-99 gm mixture
Not less than 5 years. Not more than 40 years.
If death or serious injury, not less than 20 years. Not more than life.
Fine of not more than $2 million individual, $5 million other than individual.
Not less than 10 years. Not more than life.
If death or serious injury, not less than life.
Fine of not more than $4 million individual,
$10 million other than individual
CSA I & II Penalty
Drug and Quantity 1st Offense 2nd Offense
  • Methamphetamine - 100 gm or more or 1 kg or more mixture
  • Heroin - 1 kg or more mixture
  • Cocaine - 5 kg or more mixture
  • Cocaine Base - 50 gm or more mixture
  • PCP - 100 gm or more or 1 kg or more mixture
  • LSD - 10 gm or more mixture
  • Fentanyl - 400 gm or more mixture
  • Fentanyl Analogue - 100 gm or more mixture
Not less than 10 years. Not more than life.
If death or serious injury, not less than 20 years. Not more than life.
Fine of not more than $4 million individual, $10 million other than individual.
Not less than 20 years. Not more than life.
If death or serious injury, not less than life.
Fine of not more than $8 million individual, $20 million other than individual.
CSA Drug Quantity First Offense Second Offense
I and II Other Any Not more than 20 years.
If death or serious injury, not less than 20 years, not more than life.
Fine $1 million individual, $5 million not individual.
Not more than 30 years.
If death or serious injury, life.
Fine $2 million individual, $10 million not individual.
III All Any Not more than 5 years.
Fine not more than $250,000 individual, $1 million not individual.
Not more than 10 years.
Fine not more than $500,000 individual, $2 million not individual.
IV All Any Not more than 3 years.
Fine not more than $250,000 individual, $1 million not individual.
Not more than 6 years.
Fine not more than $500,000 individual, $2 million not individual.
V All Any Not more than 1 year.
Not more than $100,000 individual, $250,000 not individual.
Not more than 2 years.
Fine not more than $200,000 individual, $500,000 not individual.


Federal Trafficking Penalties - Marijuana

Quantity Description First Offense Second Offense
1,000 kg or more; or 1,000 or more plants Marijuana
Mixture containing detectable quantity
Not less than 10 years, not more than life.
If death or serious injury, not less than 20 years, not more than life.
Fine not more than $4 million individual, $10 million other than individual.
Not less than 20 years, not more than life.
If death or serious injury, not less than life.
Fine not more than $8 million individual, $20 million other than individual.
100 kg to 1,000 kg; or 100-999 plants Marijuana
Mixture containing detectable quantity
Not less than 5 years, not more than 40 years.
If death or serious injury, not less than 20 years, not more than life.
Fine not more than $2 million individual, $5 million other than individual.
Not less than 10 years, not more than life.
If death or serious injury, not less than life.
Fine not more than $4 million individual, $10 million other than individual.
50 to 100 kg Marijuana Not more than 20 years.
If death or serious injury, not less than 20 years, not more than life.
Fine $1 million individual,
$5 million other than individual.
Not more than 30 years.
If death or serious injury, life.
Fine $2 million individual,
$10 million other than individual.
10 to 100 kg Hashish
1 to 100 kg Hashish Oil
50 - 99 plants Marijuana
Less than 50 kg Marijuana Not more than 5 years.
Fine not more than $250,000,
$1 million other than individual.
Not more than 10 years.
Fine $500,000 individual,
$2 million other than individual
Less than 10 kg Hashish
Less than 1 kg Hashish Oil