The Controlled Substances Act (CSA), is a consolidation of federal laws regulating the manufacture and distribution of narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and chemicals used in the illicit production of controlled substances.
Under the CSA, all substances regulated under existing federal law are placed into one of five categories, referred to as "schedules". Placement is based upon the substance's medicinal value, harmfulness, and potential for abuse or addiction. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous, and have no recognized medical use. Schedule V drugs are the least dangerous drugs.
The CSA provides penalties for unlawful manufacturing, distribution, and dispensing of controlled substances. Penalties are basically determined by the schedule of the drug or other substance, and sometimes are specified by drug name, as in the case of marijuana. Penalties under the Act can apply to both sellers and users of drugs. Civil as well as criminal penalties can be imposed under the CSA.
Under the CSA, the government can impose a civil fine on individuals possessing only a small quantity of a drug - an amount for personal use, and not for sale to others. This allows the government to punish the offender without giving the offender a criminal record, and without conducting a full scale criminal investigation.
If you have been charged with a drug crime under the Controlled Substances Act, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. A lawyer can help you to understand your rights under the law, and can explain any defenses that may be available to you.
Last Modified: 11-07-2017 12:19 AM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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