United States of America

Cannabis Laws

In the United States of America, the use of illicit drugs is controlled by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) (21 U.S.C. ยง 811). Under this act, the use or possession of marijuana is treated the same as if you were to have another drug, such as heroin, LSD, or cocaine, and they are prosecuted the same (in federal courts).

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is the "regulator" of all drugs in the USA, including both legal prescription drugs, and illicit drugs alike. The DEA has classified that marijuana is a Schedule I drug, meaning that it is considered to be highly addictive and has no inherent medicinal value, and doctors are forbidden from prescribing it as a remedy for any health issue.


In the USA, individual States are granted rights to control their own territories in agreement with the charter that they signed when joining the Union (the United States). As a result, conflicts exist between the Federal government's regulators and State laws, especially on terms of medicinal marijuana usage.

For states that have legalized medicinal and even recreational marijuana, at the time of writing they stand in contempt with Federal law, even if the Justice Department is chosing to not persecute the States and their users.

CJS 2016 Budget Amendment

In 2014 and 2015, The United States Congress signed into law as part of an amendment to the budget for the Justice Department (the parent of the DEA) prohibiting the use of Department of Justice funds to prosecute medicinal marijuana patients, dispensaries, and civil asset forfeitures; effectively ending the Drug Enforcement Agency's campaign against medicinal marijuana.


The following table is a list of current scheduled drugs by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and is valid as of May 2016.

Schedule Substances
Schedule I Heroin, LSD, Marijuana, Ecstasy, Peyote
Schedule II Vicodin, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Methadone, OxyContin, Adderall, Ritalin, and others.
Schedule III Codeine, Ketamine, Anabolic Steroids, and Testosterone
Schedule IV Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ambien, and others.