Drugs, Medicine and the D.E.A.’s Controlled Substance Schedules

One of the most controversial topics in American politics over the past 40 years has unquestionably been the regulation of controlled substances. The Controlled Substances Act, enacted in 1970 but amended many times since, has often been at the crux of the debate. The intent of the Controlled Substance Act is to regulate and control the manufacture, possession, distribution and importation of dangerous and addictive substances based on their medical viability and lethality. It places substances into “schedules” ranging from 1-5 with the most lethal and least potential for medicinal use in lower schedules. Controlled substances have even recently become a serious international relations issue.

As the war on drugs grows ever more dangerous the debate rages over whether or not we’re scheduling too leniently or incorrectly. What do you think? We’ve pulled together objective information on scheduling, effects/symptoms and outcomes of various substances regulated by the Controlled Substances Act to give you a better idea of why some of these controversies might exist:

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