The Controlled Substances Act
Also known as CSA, The Controlled Substances Act is an important U.S drug policy, just like how serious the possession with intent to deliver charges are.This policy has rules and regulations which regulate the possession, use, manufacture, import and distributions of certain substances. It was passed by The U.S Congress in the year 1970 and in the same year President Nixon gave his signed assent to it and it became a law according to a Dallas Interstate Drug Lawyer.
CSA has had a checkered career and there were many deliberations, discussions (some even acrimonious) before it actually saw the light of the day. The first steps towards such an act perhaps started way back in 1900. After the 1970 bill became a law with the President’s assent, the Act went through another major change in the year 2010. There were quite a few other changes too during the period 1970 to 2010.
What Was The Main Objectivea
Apart from having a comprehensive law covering various aspects of use, possession, manufacture, distribution and import of various substances, the objective of this Act was also to ensure that the United States complied with two international treaties.
After passage of this bill and its being given the status of an Act, we now have a well laid down and well defined method by which substances can be added or deleted into the list, also known as Schedule. There are also clearly defined authorities who have the mandate the above tasks of addition or deletion of many substances.
How The Substances Are Classified
It would be pertinent to mention that The Controlled Substances Act has categorized the products under five major categories and they are Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV and Schedule V.
Factors Which Are Taken Into Account For Addition/Deletion
The act also defines quite clearly as to which Scheduled drug or substance should be moved or removed totally from such lists. There are many factors that are taken into account while going through this task. A few of them includes:
- The potential for abuse by individuals, both actual and relative.
- The pharmacological impact of the various drug based on which such actions can be taken.
- The pattern or history of abuse of various products.
- The duration, scope and overall significance of such abuse.
- The potential risk of such substances towards the overall health and well being of the public.
- How, physiologically or psychically dependent, such substances will lead to.
- The act will also determine whether any new substance is a precursor to what has already been defined under the various schedules.
Who Is The Enforcing Authority
After the Act became a law in 1970, the Drug Enforcement Administration came into being in 1973. It came into being after the merger of Custom Drug Agents and BNDD or Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The process or removing, adding, deleting or modifying substances from one schedule to another has to be initiated by the Drug Enforcement Authority along with the highly powerful Human Health Services Departments which is also known as HHS.
Further a petition by any interested party which could have suffered because of such drugs could initiate such requests for change. It also could be initiated by the manufacturer of the drug association or even medical society. Based on such requests, under the Act, the DEA has the power to investigate the same independently.