Recreational drug use became relatively common in the U.S. in the late 1960s. To combat the illegal drug use, Congress passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act in 1970. The drug laws prior to this Act weren’t adequate to address, for example, the illegal use of legally manufactured drugs, such as amphetamines and barbiturates.
The Act consists of two main parts, Title II and Title III. In addition, to classifying and outlawing certain drugs, the Act was also created to research drug abuse and provide treatment. Changes in drug use in the U.S. after 1970 have at times resulted in amendments to the Act. The Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, is the agency of the federal government responsible for enforcing controlled substance laws, including the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevent and Control Act.
Title II - Controlled Substances Act
An important part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act is the Title II section, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA provides the legal basis for the government's war on drugs. This law consolidated laws on manufacturing and distributing drugs of all kinds, including narcotics, hallucinogens, steroids, chemicals when used to make controlled substances, etc.
The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention & Control Act as part of the Controlled Substances Act created a "drug schedule" classifying drugs into five categories or schedules based on the medical use and potential for drug abuse or dependence:
The Act created a way to add and remove from control or change the schedule category of substances. A substance doesn’t need to be listed as a controlled substance to be treated as one for criminal prosecution. An analogous substance intended for human use that’s substantially similar to a Schedule I or Schedule II drug and isn’t approved as medication in the U.S. is considered a controlled substance analogue and can still be illegal.
Title III - Importation and Exportation, Criminal Forfeiture, and Drug Law Amendments
The less referenced part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act is Title III, which changed the law and penalties regarding importation and exportation of controlled substances and criminal forfeiture. Forfeiture is when the government confiscates property involved with the crime, including drug crimes. This section also provided the necessary legal information for the transitional period and when the Act was effective.
Get Professional Help With Your Drug Charges
Drug charges can be extremely serious, although this varies quite a bit by state. Understanding the consequences of a conviction related to a controlled substance as defined by law is important when you are considering a plea deal or otherwise. To learn more about your options, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today.