What to know about controlled substances

Prior to 1970, there were more than 200 federal drug laws designed to keep Minnesota residents and other Americans safe. In 1970, President Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act, which combined all of those laws into one statute. The CSA divides all controlled substances into five different classes depending on their likelihood of being abused.

A Schedule I drug is considered among the most dangerous and is deemed to have no medical benefit. Examples of drugs on this tier include ecstasy, heroin and marijuana. However, studies have revealed that marijuana may actually provide medical benefits to users. A Schedule 5 drug is considered the least dangerous, and drugs on that tier include cough suppressants and Lyrica. The classification is designed to make it easier for states to create penalties for using a given substance. Since the CSA is a federal law, all state laws must be in compliance with its terms.

Those who are caught with a Schedule 1 drug may face penalties such as five years in prison or a fine of up to $250,000. Someone who is caught with a Schedule 5 drug may be sentenced to no more than a year in prison. Provisions of the CSA are enforced by the Drug Enforcement Agency at the federal level. It was created in 1973 by President Nixon.

People who are found possessing or selling cocaine or other controlled substances may face significant legal penalties if a conviction is obtained. As a result, those who are in this type of a situation might find it advisable to meet with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that a strategy to combat the allegations can be constructed.

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