Tranquilizers: Legal consequences

Last modified: Saturday, 20. June 2009 - 3:50 pm

Legal history

Although some sedative-hypnotics such as the non-barbiturates glutethimide (Doriden) and methaqualone (Quaalude) were once legally prescribed drugs, these substances were banned from use in the United States because of their potential for addiction and abuse. Some sedative-hypnotics such as flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) are illegal in the United States but are legal in Europe and Latin America.

Federal guidelines, regulations, and penalties

The major and minor tranquilizers are legal as manufactured and prescribed and are classified as Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substances under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA). However, manufacturing, distributing, and selling these drugs without a prescription are subject to federal and state penalties. The CSA dictates penalties of up to 15 years imprisonment and fines up to $25,000 for unlawful distribution or possession of a controlled substance.

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