Controlled Substances Act (CSA)

The controlled substances act, or CSA, was signed into law in 1970 by then-President Richard Nixon. The act established a federal drug policy by breaking compounds into five schedules, or groups. Each schedule has its own set of restrictions and penalties. While drugs have changed classes over the years, the strictest group is Schedule I, which also has the harshest penalties. Drugs that fall into Schedule I are widely accepted to have a high potential for abuse. Drugs that were originally included in Schedule 1 include LSD, psilocybin, cannabis, MDMA, and DMT. Substances classified as Schedule II have a high potential for abuse but do have accepted medical applications. Examples include painkillers such as hydromorphone and morphine. Schedule III substances have some potential for abuse but have less potential than drugs that fall into Schedule I and II. Examples of drugs that fall into Schedule III include testosterone and ketamine.