Possession of a Controlled Substance in Oregon

Possession of a Controlled Substance is abbreviated as “PCS” in Oregon and can informally be referred to “Drug Possession.”

Possession of controlled substance in Oregon without a valid prescription or other medical/legal authorization is punishable as a felony, misdemeanor or violation. The government need not prove use or actual possession, but can prove their case by what’s called “constructive possession” (meaning a legal fiction or presumption that an individual has actual control over controlled substances without necessarily having physical control of the controlled substances).

Oregon divides controlled substances into five schedules. For more information about how they are categorized, please visit our dedicated page on controlled substances. The seriousness of a given Possession of a Controlled Substance charge is greatly affected by the schedule of the controlled substance.

O.R.S. § 475.752 Possession of a Controlled Substance – Prohibited acts generally; penalties

(1) Except for licensees and licensee representatives, as those terms are defined in section 5, chapter 1, Oregon Laws 2015, that are engaged in lawful activities, and except for a person acting within the scope of and in compliance with section 6 (1), chapter 1, Oregon Laws 2015, and except as authorized by ORS 475.005 to 475.285 and 475.752 to 475.980, it is unlawful for any person to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance. Any person who violates this subsection with respect to:

(a) A controlled substance in Schedule I, is guilty of a Class A felony, except as otherwise provided in ORS 475.886 and 475.890.

(b) A controlled substance in Schedule II, is guilty of a Class B felony, except as otherwise provided in ORS 475.858, 475.860, 475.862, 475.878, 475.880, 475.882, 475.904 and 475.906.

(c) A controlled substance in Schedule III, is guilty of a Class C felony, except as otherwise provided in ORS 475.904 and 475.906.

(d) A controlled substance in Schedule IV, is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

(e) A controlled substance in Schedule V, is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.

(2) Except as authorized in ORS 475.005 to 475.285 and 475.752 to 475.980, it is unlawful for any person to create or deliver a counterfeit substance. Any person who violates this subsection with respect to:

(a) A counterfeit substance in Schedule I, is guilty of a Class A felony.

(b) A counterfeit substance in Schedule II, is guilty of a Class B felony.

(c) A counterfeit substance in Schedule III, is guilty of a Class C felony.

(d) A counterfeit substance in Schedule IV, is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

(e) A counterfeit substance in Schedule V, is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.

(3) It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess a controlled substance, other than marijuana, unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order of, a practitioner while acting in the course of professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by ORS 475.005 to 475.285 and 475.752 to 475.980. Any person who violates this subsection with respect to:

(a) A controlled substance in Schedule I, is guilty of a Class B felony, except as otherwise provided in ORS 475.894.

(b) A controlled substance in Schedule II, is guilty of a Class C felony, except as otherwise provided in ORS 475.864.

(c) A controlled substance in Schedule III, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

(d) A controlled substance in Schedule IV, is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.

(e) A controlled substance in Schedule V, is guilty of a violation.

(4) In any prosecution under this section for manufacture, possession or delivery of that plant of the genus Lophophora commonly known as peyote, it is an affirmative defense that the peyote is being used or is intended for use:

(a) In connection with the good faith practice of a religious belief;
(b) As directly associated with a religious practice; and
(c) In a manner that is not dangerous to the health of the user or others who are in the proximity of the user.

(5) The affirmative defense created in subsection (4) of this section is not available to any person who has possessed or delivered the peyote while incarcerated in a correctional facility in this state.

(6)

(a) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, a person who unlawfully manufactures or delivers a controlled substance in Schedule IV and who thereby causes death to another person is guilty of a Class C felony.

(b) For purposes of this subsection, causation is established when the controlled substance plays a substantial role in the death of the other person.

 

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