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What Does Controlled Substance Mean?

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Generally, controlled substances refer to substances that are tightly controlled by the government. This is because they may be abused or cause addiction/dependence. They include commonly prescribed medications such as Vicodin, Xanax, Adderall and many more.

Facing drug charges? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.

Controlled substance drug schedules

Under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1971, controlled substances are divided into five schedules by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Schedule I controlled substances are defined as being illegal on all levels federally and have a “high” potential for abuse, schedule V substances are federally legal in restricted quantities and have a “low” potential for abuse.

However, the drug schedules have received their fair share of criticism from the public and fellow lawmakers due to “undefined terms.” Additionally, research conducted since 1971 has found several Schedule I substances to have legitimate accepted medical uses and low abuse potential, despite the schedule classification saying otherwise.

Removing cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance

Undoubtedly, the largest movement has been to remove marijuana (“cannabis’) from Schedule I of the CSA. As of now, more than 20 states have legalized medical cannabis consumption with more than 10 states having legalized both medical and adult-use cannabis consumption.

In November 2018, Michigan became the 10th state to legalize medical and adult-use cannabis consumption/possession. Illinois became the 11th and latest state to follow suit. It’s safe to say that the attitudes towards cannabis are shifting in a more positive direction among the public and lawmakers.

Experienced legal counsel for controlled substance charges

Our drug crimes attorneys in Michigan are well-versed in all aspects of criminal law. As the law firm with Michigan’s only Forensic Lawyer-Scientist designated by the American Chemical Society, we thoroughly investigate all cases and identify the approach that best suits our clients’ needs.

Visit our drug addiction resource page if you or a loved one need extra support.

Facing drug charges? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.


Barton Morris
Barton Morris has been providing high-quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years.
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