For years, the United States government has restricted and controlled the production and use of many substances through the Controlled Substances Act, a drug policy that regulates the manufacturing, importation, possession, and distribution of certain drugs.
The Controlled Substances Act is part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The list of controlled substances has been divided into five classes called schedules, based on their likelihood for being abused, their accepted medical use, and how safe they are under proper medical supervision.
Schedule I drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse, do not serve any medical purpose, and lack accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Schedules II through V catalog drugs that decrease in their likelihood for abuse.
The act also gave rise to the implementation of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which is an international treaty that prohibits the production and supply of certain drugs. It mainly refers to narcotics and drugs that produce similar effects. The treaty allows for the production and use of some drugs under license and for specific medical treatment and research purposes.
In the United States, drivers over the age of 21 are considered to be intoxicated if they drive with a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater or drive under the influence of an intoxicant, legal prescription medications, illegal or controlled substances, or other chemical substances. It is also illegal to drive with a detectable amount of any restricted or controlled substance present in the bloodstream.
All of the restricted drugs affect a person’s ability to drive safely. For example, marijuana is the most commonly abused substance, and it reduces a driver’s ability to stay concentrated and maintain coordination. There are many other effects of this drug, including increased heart rate and the possibility of psychosis.
Cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines are also regularly abused and are extremely dangerous. They can cause a person’s body temperature to rise and contribute to heart problems and seizures. For these reasons, the government has restricted their use and made it illegal to drive under the influence of such substances.