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Understanding the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970

The federal laws used during most drug arrests stem from the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Since 1970, the government has heavily increased the amount of time, money and effort that is put into making drug-related arrests, in what is often called the War on Drugs.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, the federal government officially regulates all production of controlled substances, even when it is done legally. Similarly, they regulate both distribution and possession of these substances. Again, this is true even for substances that can be used completely legally under the right circumstances, such as morphine.

The CSA regulates all manner of drugs, including chemicals and plants, by diving them into five different schedules. This goes for narcotics, depressants, stimulants, anabolic steroids and hallucinogens.

The schedule that a drug fits under is determined based on numerous factors, such as the potential that someone would abuse it, the legal medical uses that the drug may have, how much of a safety hazard the drug is deemed to be and the odds that someone could become dependent on the drug.

The drug schedules run from one to five, with a Schedule I drug being the most heavily restricted. These drugs are often considered the most dangerous, and they often don't have any legal medical use. However, the lines can get a bit blurry here, as marijuana is a Schedule I drug and is able to be used medically in many parts of the United States.

If you've been arrested under the Controlled Substances Act, you need to know all of your rights and your legal defense options in Kansas.

Source: Drug War Facts, "Law and Policy," accessed March 11, 2016

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