All states regulate and control the sale of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), though each differs in its exact definition of CDS and the penalties for sale. Mississippi classifies not only well-known drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine as CDS, but also the compounds used to manufacture them.
This article discusses the manufacture and sale of CDS only. Possessing CDS for personal use carries different penalties. For more information on possession of CDS for personal use, see Possession of Controlled Substances in Mississippi.
Also, while marijuana is considered a CDS, this article does not cover Mississippi’s marijuana possession and sale laws. To learn more about that topic, see Mississippi Marijuana Laws.
Mississippi divides CDS into five “schedules.” Schedule I lists the most dangerous drugs, which have a high probability of abuse and addiction, and no recognized medical value. Schedules II, III, IV, and V decrease in dangerousness and probability of abuse, and increase in recognized medical uses.
These classes are also used to determine the applicable penalties for illegally making or selling specific CDS (described in the next section). If you’ve been arrested for illegal CDS production or sales, you’ll need to consult the Mississippi Code that lists precisely which drugs fit into each group. Go to the statute (Ms. Code Ann. § 41-29-113, -115, -117, -119, -121.) and find the substance you're charged with selling -- it will be listed under one of the five classes.
It is illegal in Mississippi to make, sell, or possess CDS with the intent to do these things, with few exceptions, such as a doctor who legally prescribes a prescription medication. Penalties vary according to the type and amount of the CDS involved.
Making or selling a schedule I or II substance incurs a fine of between $5,000 and $1,000,000, up to 30 years in prison, or both. (Ms. Code Ann. § 41-29-139(b)(1).)
Making or selling a schedule III or IV substance incurs a fine of between $1,000 and $250,000, up to 20 years in prison, or both. (Ms. Code Ann. § 41-29-139(b)(4).)
Making or selling a schedule V substance incurs a fine of between $1,000 and $50,000, up to ten years in prison, or both. (Ms. Code Ann. § 41-29-139(b)(5).)
A person who makes, sells, barters, or transfers (without payment) the following types and amounts of CDS over any 12 month period will face life imprisonment. (Ms. Code Ann. § 41-29-139(f).)
“Trafficking” in a CDS refers to committing three or more offenses described above during a 12 month period, when two or more offenses occurred within different Mississippi counties. Penalties include a fine of between $5,000 and $1,000,000, up to 30 years in prison, or both. (Ms. Code Ann. § 41-29-139(g)(1).)
A second or subsequent conviction incurs up to double the applicable fine, prison term, or both, as described above. (Ms. Code Ann. § 41-29-147.)
CDS manufacture or sale convictions incur both heavy fines and long periods of incarceration. A local lawyer who practices CDS defense will review the facts of your case, explain your options, and advise you of the possible consequences.