ASSEMBLY, No. 4300







Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  KEVIN J. ROONEY

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)






     Reschedules tramadol from Schedule IV to Schedule II of the CDS schedules.



     As introduced.


An Act concerning controlled dangerous substances and amending P.L.1970, c.226.


     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


     1.    Section 6 of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-6)  is amended to read as follows:

     6.    Schedule II.

     a.     Tests. The director shall place a substance in Schedule II if he finds that the substance: (1) has high potential for abuse; (2) has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, or currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions; and (3) abuse may lead to severe psychic or physical dependence.

     b.    The controlled dangerous substances listed in this section are included in Schedule II, subject to any revision and republishing by the director pursuant to subsection d. of section 3 of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-3), and except to the extent provided in any other schedule.

     c.     Any of the following substances except those narcotic drugs listed in other schedules whether produced directly or indirectly by extraction from substances of vegetable origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by combination of extraction and chemical synthesis:

     (1)   Opium and opiate, and any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation of opium or opiate.

     (2)   Any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation thereof which is chemically equivalent or identical with any of the substances referred to in clause 1, except that these substances shall not include the isoquinaline alkaloids of opium.

     (3)   Opium poppy and poppy straw.

     (4)   Coca leaves and any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation of coca leaves, and any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation thereof which is chemically equivalent or identical with any of these substances, except that the substances shall not include decocainized coca leaves or extractions which do not contain cocaine or ecogine.

     (5) 2-[(dimethylamino)methyl]-1-(3-ethoxyphenyl)cyclohexanol, its salts, optical and geometric isomers and salts of these isomers (including tramadol).

     d.    Any of the following opiates, including their isomers, esters, ethers, salts, and salts of isomers, esters and ethers, unless specifically excepted, whenever the existence of such isomers, esters, ethers, and salts is possible within the specific chemical designation:

     (1)   Alphaprodine

     (2)   Anileridine

     (3)   Bezitramide

     (4)   Dihydrocodeine

     (5)   Diphenoxylate

     (6)   Fentanyl

     (7)   Isomethadone

     (8)   Levomethorphan

     (9)   Levorphanol

     (10) Metazocine

     (11) Methadone

     (12) Methadone--Intermediate, 4-cyano-2-dimethylamino-4, 4-diphenyl butane

     (13)   Moramide--Intermediate, 2-methyl-3-morpholino-1, 1-diphenyl-propane-carboxylic acid

     (14) Pethidine

     (15)  Pethidine--Intermediate--A, 4-cyano-1-methyl-4-phenylpiperidine

     (16) Pethidine--Intermediate--B, ethyl-4-phenylpiperidine-4-carboxylate

     (17) Pethidine--Intermediate--C, 1-methyl-4-phenylpiperidine-4-carboxylic acid

     (18) Phenazocine

     (19) Piminodine

     (20) Racemethorphan

     (21) Racemorphan.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.244, s.4)


     2. This act shall take effect on the 180thth day following enactment.




     This bill would reclassify tramadol from Schedule IV to Schedule II of the controlled dangerous substance (CDS) schedules.  Tramadol, a narcotic pain reliever, is the generic form of Ultram and several other brand-name drugs.

     There are five CDS schedules, ranging from Schedule I to Schedule V. Substances are classified in one of the schedules based on their potential for abuse, currently accepted medical use, and the degree of dependence that they may cause. Substances in Schedule I, for example, have no accepted medical use, cannot lawfully be prescribed, and have high potential for abuse. Substances in Schedule V have low potential for abuse relative to the substances in the other four schedules.  

     Substances in Schedule IV, such as tramadol, are considered to have lower potential for abuse relative to the substances listed in Schedule III, and higher potential for abuse relative to the substances in Schedule V.

     However, tramadol is a narcotic, and it is the view of the sponsor that tramadol more appropriately belongs in Schedule II, alongside substances that have a high potential for abuse.  Other substances currently in Schedule II include opium, cocaine, and fentanyl.

     Substances in Schedule II are also highly regulated compared with those in Schedule IV, and practitioners who prescribe Schedule II drugs must comply with strict prescription requirements and limitations on the quantities that may be prescribed.