Controlled Substances Act | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Law

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is a federal law in the United States that regulates the manufacture, distribution, possession, and use of controlled substances.

The CSA was enacted in 1970 and is the legal foundation for the federal government’s efforts to control the use and distribution of drugs that have the potential for abuse or other negative consequences.

The CSA divides controlled substances into five schedules, with Schedule I substances being those with the highest potential for abuse and no accepted medical use, and Schedule V substances being those with the lowest potential for abuse and widely accepted medical use. The specific criteria for each schedule are based on factors such as the substance’s potential for abuse, its accepted medical use, and its potential for dependence.

The CSA also establishes penalties for the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of controlled substances. These penalties can vary depending on the schedule of the substance, the amount involved, and the defendant’s criminal history. The CSA is enforced by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which is responsible for investigating and prosecuting violations of the act.

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Last Modified: 01/08/2023


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