State and Federal Drug Laws

Last Updated: Thursday, April 30, 2020

Specific laws on drug use, possession, manufacturing, distributing or dispensing have been enacted at the federal, state, and local level. drug law graphic

For more information on state or local laws as they apply to possession, distribution, use, and other drug related activities, check the state’s legislative body, State’s sentencing commission, or criminal code. You can also obtain information about state laws on the Law Library of Congress (LOC) Website.


The Controlled Substances Act

Congress gave the Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA) the responsibility of enforcing the Title 21 United States Code (USC) Controlled Substances Act. This act prohibits the unauthorized possession, manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing of controlled substances. For more information on the Controlled Substances Act, go to: DEA Office of Diversion Control.


Juvenile Drug Courts

Did you know that 458 juvenile drug treatment courts located all over the United States, target criminal offenders who have alcohol and drug addiction and dependency problems? The drug court typically includes:

  • Offender assessment
  • Judicial interaction
  • Monitoring (e.g., drug testing and supervision)
  • Graduated sanctions and incentives
  • Drug treatment services


For more information, visit National Association of Drug Court Professionals.

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