Controlled Substance Act

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, commonly known as the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), establishes a federal policy to regulate the manufacturing, distributing, importing/exporting, and use of regulated substances. The CSA was enacted by the 91st United States Congress and signed by President Richard Nixon into law in 1970.

This statute was an effort to combine all previous federal drug laws and allow for federal law enforcement of controlled substances, serving as the legal foundation in the federal fight against drug abuse. Originally the purpose of the CSA was to fulfill the requirements of two international treaties, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961) and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971).

These two treaties had created a classification system in accordance with the scientific and medical findings of public health authorities. Under the two international treaties, the public health authority referenced is the World Health Organization, and under the CSA, it is the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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