Controlled Substances Act

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In the US, the Controlled Substances Act regulates pharmaceuticals. It divides drugs into classes called schedules and established rules for enforcement of the schedules.

Contents

Drug Schedules

Required findings as followed:

Schedule I.

(A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
(B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
(C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

Examples of Schedule I drugs include heroin and other opiates, methampethines, MDMA (ecstasy), LSD, marijuana, and mescaline.

Schedule II.

(A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
(B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.
(C) Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Schedule II drugs include some opiate pain medications (e.g., morphine, methadone), cocaine (legal as a topical surgical anesthetic only), Ritalin, amphetamines, opium, and barbiturates.

Schedule III.

(A) The drug or other substance has a potential for abuse less than the drugs or other substances in schedules I and II.
(B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
(C) Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychologicaldependence.

Anabolic steroids, ketamine, and certain pain and stimulant medications are listed on Schedule III.

Schedule IV.

(A) The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III.
(B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
(C) Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III.

Examples of Schedule IV substances include many psychotropic medications (e.g., Xanax, Ativan, Provigil), diet drugs (e.g., Redux), rohypnol, and Ambien.

Schedule V.

(A) The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule IV.
(B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
(C) Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule IV.

Substances on Schedule V primarily include medications containing smaller doses of opiates (e.g., cough syrups).

Constitutionality

The constitutionality of the Controlled Substance Act has been disputed. In 1972, the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, commissioned by President Richard Nixon, reported questioned whether the Act has violated various constitutional limitation on federal power. Nixon and the Congress ignored the committee's findings and the Act was implemented anyways. In 2005, the Supreme Court decided in case Gonzales v. Raich, in a 6-3 decision that the Controlled Substance Act did not violate the Commerce Clause in United States Constitution. The decision cited Wickard v. Filburn, an FDR-era case that significantly expanded federal power over intrastate commerce.

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