Under 21 U.S.C. § 841, it is unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally: (1) manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance; or (2) create, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit substance. The statute defines controlled substances as those listed in Schedules I through V of the Controlled Substances Act. Penalties for violations of this section vary depending on factors such as the type and quantity of the controlled substance involved, the individual's prior convictions, and whether the violation resulted in death or serious bodily injury. Penalties can include substantial fines and imprisonment, with more severe offenses carrying mandatory minimum sentences.
In the context of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. § 802 defines 'controlled substance' as a drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, included in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V. The schedules classify substances based on their potential for abuse, medical use, and safety or dependence liability. A 'counterfeit substance' is defined as a controlled substance that, without authorization, bears the trademark, trade name, or other identifying mark, imprint, or number, or any likeness thereof, of a manufacturer, distributor, or dispenser other than the person who in fact manufactured, distributed, or dispensed the substance. The definition is crucial for understanding what constitutes a counterfeit substance under the law and the associated penalties for its manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute.
21 U.S.C. § 812 outlines the creation of five schedules (I-V) that categorize drugs and other substances based on their potential for abuse, status in international treaties, and any medical use they may have. Schedule I substances have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Schedules II through V decrease in potential for abuse and increase in accepted medical uses. The Attorney General has the authority to add, remove, or reschedule substances after consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This scheduling system is used to determine the regulatory and legal framework for the handling, manufacturing, and distribution of controlled substances.
21 U.S.C. § 853 stipulates that any person convicted of a felony violation under the Controlled Substances Act, including the distribution or manufacturing of controlled substances, may be subject to the forfeiture of any property that constitutes or is derived from proceeds the person obtained directly or indirectly as a result of the violation. Additionally, property used or intended to be used in any manner to commit or facilitate the commission of such violations may also be subject to forfeiture. This includes real estate, vehicles, money, and other assets. The statute is intended to deter drug trafficking by depriving criminals of the proceeds and instrumentalities of their illegal activities.
Under 21 U.S.C. § 960, it is unlawful to import into the United States from any place outside thereof, or to export from the United States to any place outside thereof, any controlled substance in schedule I or II, any narcotic drug in schedule III, IV, or V, or any substance in schedule III, IV, or V which is a precursor chemical, unless such importation or exportation is authorized by the Controlled Substances Act. The statute also prohibits the importation or exportation of any machinery, equipment, or material which may be used for manufacturing a controlled substance, knowing that it will be used to manufacture a controlled substance. Violations of this section can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment and fines.