Federal Controlled Substances Act


With regards to drug policy and the federal government, the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) essentially governs drug policy, offenses, and penalties at the federal level. Including manufacturing, importation, possession, and use and distribution of controlled substances, this 1970 act, signed by President Nixon, combined all prior federal drug laws into a single statute.

Perhaps the most endearing part of this act is its classification of drugs into five categories based on their potential of abuse and medical value. Moreover, the laws under this act have been enacted at all levels of government down to the local municipal level. As such, violating the statues defined under the CSA can result in serious penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences at federal prison.

If you’ve been arrested of a federal drug crime in Michigan, it is absolutely essential to locate a team of expert federal defense attorneys who boast a profound understanding of the Federal Controlled Substances Act. For Michigan’s leading federal drug offense lawyers, call Grabel & Associates for a free consultation 24/7 or contact us online. In the meantime, you can learn more about the Federal Controlled Substances Act below.

Schedule of Controlled Substances

To better create policy for offenses as well as the punishments associated with such offenses, the federal government categorized known controlled substances, such as hallucinogens, narcotics, depressants, and stimulants, into a schedule based on the drugs’ potential for abuse, status in international treaties, and any medical benefits they may provide. Schedule I drugs are, therefore, considered to be the most harmful and dangerous substances to both the individual and society; Schedule V drugs are at the other end of the spectrum and include drugs with the least potential for abuse.

  • Schedule I — Drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. A few Schedule I drugs may include heroin, LSD, marijuana, ecstasy, methaqualone, and peyote
  • Schedule II — Drugs with a high potential for abuse, whereas extended usage can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. A few Schedule II drugs may include Vicodin, cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, Dilaudid, Demerol, OxyContin, fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin.
  • Schedule III — Drugs with a moderate to low potential for abuse and dependence. A few Schedule III drugs may include products containing less than 90mg of codeine per dosage unit, ketamine, anabolic steroids, and testosterone.
  • Schedule IV — Drugs with low potential for abuse and dependence. A few Schedule IV drugs may include Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Valium, Ambien, Tramadol
  • Schedule V — Drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV drugs. A few Schedule V drugs may include cough preparations with less than 200 mg of codeine per 100 ml, Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, and Parepectolin

With this schedule, the federal government is able to both counsel state and local governments on their drug policy while giving federal drug cases a standard from which they can proceed with charges and penalties. However, it is important to note that federal drug arrests mostly involve trafficking and manufacture. State governments mostly prosecute individuals charged with possession and small-time distribution.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Part of the Federal Controlled Substances Act and Nixon’s War on Drugs is the establishment of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). One of the principal purposes of the DEA is to enforce laws within the CSA, which includes regulation and oversight of all individuals who are registered to legally manufacture, distribute, import, and export any drug. Furthermore, the DEA will often work with state and local law enforcement to build cases and arrest individuals illegally trafficking, manufacturing, or otherwise participating in drug conspiracies or gang related drug violence.

How a Drug Crime Becomes a Federal Offense

Although federal agents tend to pursue larger cases, as opposed to simple possession, the CSA allows federal agents to enforce all drug crimes. For most cases of possession, possession with intent to distribute, some manufacturing and intrastate drug trafficking, and so forth, the case is prosecuted by the state. However, if you are caught smoking a joint at a national park, for example, a federal U.S. Parks Police officer can arrest you for possession and you may be charged in federal courts. Other instances of federal drug crimes may include:

  • If you’re arrested due to the work by a federally appointed Confidential Informant
  • The DEA arrests you as part of a drug bust
  • You are associated with a drug conspiracy
  • You are caught trafficking across state or national borders
  • You are arrested by any federal agency, including the TSA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, ATF, and many others.

Contact Michigan’s Leading Federal Drug Crime Lawyers at Grabel & Associates

If you’ve been charged with a federal drug crime, you may be facing severe penalties that can include mandatory minimum sentences without the possibility for parole. As such, no matter your case, you need a Michigan federal drug crimes attorney who is capable of aggressively representing you and your case in federal courts. Through our highly experienced attorneys at Grabel & Associates, we will diligently investigate all matters related to the investigation and arrest and aggressively pursue a beneficial outcome, whether that includes a not-guilty conviction, dropped charges, or, if the evidence is truly stacked against you, a reduced or alternative sentence.

For a free consultation regarding your case, call Grabel & Associates at our Lansing office at 1-800-342-7896. Emergency consultations are available 24/7.