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distribution of controlled substance

Under federal law (applicable in all states) it is illegal for a person to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance—or to possess a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense it. It is also illegal to create, distribute, or dispense a counterfeit substance, or to possess a counterfeit substance with the intent to distribute or dispense it.

The term controlled substance means a drug or other substance—or an immediate precursor to the drug or other substance—that is included in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V of the relevant portion of the United States Code (statute). See 21 U.S.C. §841.

The term counterfeit substance means a controlled substance (or its container or labeling) that—without authorization—bears the trademark, trade name, or other identifying mark, imprint, or number of a manufacturer, distributor, or dispenser other than the person or persons who in fact manufactured, distributed, or dispensed the substance. In other words, a counterfeit substance is falsely represented to be manufactured or distributed by an another (presumably authorized) manufacturer, distributor, or dispenser.

It is also illegal for a person to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance—or to possess a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense it—under state law. As under federal law, state laws usually classify substances in groups or schedules that determine which substances are included in the definition of controlled substances, and the potential penalties or punishments for distributing them.

Criminal charges and penalties for these offenses vary from state to state and are usually located in a state’s statutes.

Under both federal and Texas state law, it is illegal to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, distribute, or dispense controlled substances, or to possess them with the intent to do so. Controlled substances are classified into schedules I through V, with Schedule I substances being considered the most dangerous and having a high potential for abuse with no accepted medical use. The federal statute governing these offenses is 21 U.S.C. §841. In Texas, similar prohibitions are outlined in the Texas Controlled Substances Act, which also categorizes drugs into penalty groups that correspond to the federal scheduling system. The manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute counterfeit substances is also illegal. Counterfeit substances are those that are falsely represented as being produced or distributed by an authorized entity. Penalties for these offenses in Texas can include imprisonment, fines, and other consequences, and they vary based on the quantity and type of substance involved, as well as other factors such as the presence of minors or the proximity to schools.


Texas Statutes & Rules

Federal Statutes & Rules

21 U.S.C. § 841 - Prohibited acts A
This statute is the primary federal law that makes it illegal to manufacture, distribute, or dispense controlled substances, or to possess them with intent to do the same.

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.

21 U.S.C. § 802 - Definitions
This section provides definitions for terms used in the Controlled Substances Act, including 'controlled substance' and 'counterfeit substance'.

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 - Schedules of controlled substances
This statute establishes the classification of drugs and other substances into five schedules.

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 - Criminal forfeitures
This statute provides for the forfeiture of property derived from or used in illegal drug trafficking activities.

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.

21 U.S.C. § 960 - Importation and exportation of controlled substances
This statute governs the importation and exportation of controlled substances, making it illegal to bring controlled substances into or out of the United States without proper authority.

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.