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Narcotics Acts

Comprehensive Drug Abuse And Control Act

By the late 1960s, illicit drug use in the United States had become widespread. Moreover, use of narcotics became more open, causing concerns among many communities, law enforcement personnel, and legislators. Existing narcotics laws were failing to curb the usage of narcotics drugs. For example, about half of the amphetamines and barbiturates produced legally in the United States were being distributed through illegal means.

In response to these problems, Congress in 1970 enacted the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, Pub. L. No. 91-513, 84 Stat. 1242. The CSA developed a complex regulatory system designed to control the distribution of drugs. It established five schedules of drugs, with each schedule representing the degree with which the drug is likely to be abused and the level of accepted medical use. Most narcotics, such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, fall within Schedule I, which includes drugs with high potential for abuse and with no accepted medical use.

The CSA has been amended dozens of times since is original enactment. In 1974, Congress enacted the Narcotic Addict Treatment Act of 1974, Pub. L. No. 93-281, 88 Stat. 124, which allows practitioners to dispense narcotics for detoxification and similar purposes. Other amendments to the CSA have established federally funded prevention and treatment programs, including drug-awareness education programs.

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