9-100.000 - The Controlled Substances Act
|The Controlled Substances Act—Generally
|Scheduling of Controlled Substances and Listed Chemicals—21 U.S.C. §§ 812; 813; 802(34) and (35)
|Attempt and Conspiracy—21 U.S.C. § 846; 963
|Death Penalty for Controlled Substances Offenses
|Forfeitures—21 U.S.C. § 853
|Controlled Substance Destruction Procedures
|Procedures Relating to Expungement of Criminal Records Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3607
|Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act of 1966
9-100.001 - The Controlled Substances Act—Generally
This chapter contains Department of Justice policy that applies to the investigation and prosecution of offenses involving violations of the Controlled Substances Act, which is found in Title 21, United States Code. Specific questions regarding controlled substances offenses may be addressed to the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, Criminal Division.
9-100.010 - Scheduling of Controlled Substances and Listed Chemicals—21 U.S.C. §§ 812; 813; 802(34) and (35)
The Controlled Substances Act establishes penalties and controls for each schedule. It also contains a now outdated list of controlled substances and listed chemicals. For the current schedules, see 21 C.F.R. Part 1308 (controlled substances), 21 C.F.R. Part 1300.01 (anabolic steroids) and 21 C.F.R. Part 1310 (listed chemicals).
9-100.020 - Attempt and Conspiracy—21 U.S.C. § 846; 963
Section 846 of Title 21 prohibits conspiracies and attempts to violate any substantive offense established by Subchapter I of Title 21 ("Control and Enforcement")—in other words, Section 846 makes it a crime to conspire to violate or attempt to violate any substantive offense set forth in 21 U.S.C. §§ 801-904. Analogously, Section 963 of Title 21 prohibits conspiracies and attempts to violate any substantive offense established by Subchapter II of Title 21 ("Import and Export")—in other words, Section 963 makes it a crime to conspire to violate or attempt to violate any substantive offense set forth in 21 U.S.C. §§ 951-971.
The general conspiracy statute (18 U.S.C. § 371) may not be used to charge a conspiracy involving those sections. See Principles of Federal Prosecution, JM 9-27.300 ("Once the decision to prosecute has been made, the attorney for the government should charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offenses.").
9-100.030 - Death Penalty for Controlled Substances Offenses
The death penalty shall not be sought without prior written authorization of the Attorney General. See the JM 9-10.000 for Department guidelines regarding the death penalty.
9-100.040 - Forfeitures—21 U.S.C. § 853
Title 21 U.S.C. § 853 provides for the forfeiture of property, profits, and other rights obtained through or used in the commission of felony drug offenses. Except in rare cases, prosecutors are required to include forfeiture allegations in all drug indictments where the defendant has identifiable assets that are forfeitable. Contact the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section at 202-514-1263 for further information.
9-100.100 - Controlled Substance Destruction Procedures
This section sets forth the responsibilities of United States Attorneys' Offices (USAO) with respect to drug evidence destruction. See 28 C.F.R. § 50.21.
Each USAO should designate a Drug Evidence Destruction Coordinator (DEDC). This coordinator should preferably be an attorney familiar with the prosecution of narcotics cases and related evidentiary issues. The coordinator will work closely with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) counterparts to ensure that the evidentiary value of the drug evidence is preserved for later use in court. In addition, the coordinator will be responsible for monitoring legal problems, providing advice, and ensuring that the FBI, DEA and ICE 60-day notices are forwarded to the appropriate attorney.
When the USAOs receive the 60-day notice, it should be forwarded to the attorney assigned to the case (and to the DEDC) to determine the appropriate response. The prosecutor may want to contact the DEA, FBI or ICE agent in charge of the case to get the agent's assurance that sufficient photographic documentation of the evidence is or will be available prior to destruction. Furthermore, if the evidence is marijuana, the prosecutor is encouraged to consult with the case agent to make sure that the evidence was accurately weighed and the weighing method was adequately documented for use in court proceedings. Once the appropriate reviews and consultations are complete, the prosecutor may take one of the following actions:
- Send a written response to the case agent before the 60-day time period elapses permitting sampling and destruction to proceed (NOTE: The Department encourages prosecutors to do this as soon as possible for cases where there is no basis for an exception request. This will permit DEA, FBI or ICE to begin the sampling and destruction process in less than 60 days, providing laboratory analyses are completed.); or
- Permit the 60-day time period to elapse, at which point the DEA, FBI or ICE case agent will authorize sampling and destruction with no further notice to the USAOs once laboratory analyses are completed; or
- Determine that an exception request is warranted, and forward such a written request, signed personally by the USA, to the DEA, FBI or ICE Special Agent-In-Charge (SAC). It must be received before the expiration date of the 60-day time period.
NOTE: The use of exception requests should be severely limited. In any case in which the USA requests an exception from the SAC, the burden will be on the prosecutor to show the particular circumstances or factors that would adversely affect the government's case. Because the sample retained under the standard procedure will be large—twice the amount required for maximum mandatory minimum penalties for all substances other than marijuana and liquid phencyclidine (PCP)—prosecutors are strongly discouraged from filing an exception request on the grounds that the full seizure is needed for jury appeal or other purely strategic purposes.
If the DEA, FBI or ICE SAC denies the exception request to preserve the bulk evidence, the USA will be so notified in writing. The exhibit will be retained for 30 days from the date of the denial notice before sampling and destruction are authorized.
The USA may choose to abide by the SAC's decision or may appeal the decision to the Assistant Attorney General (AAG), Criminal Division. Appeals should be sent directly to the Chief of the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, Criminal Division and must include a completed appeal form available to Department attorneys, and the required supporting documentation. All appeals should be transmitted to NDDS electronically.
A copy of the appeal request should be sent to the DEA, FBI or ICE SAC and must be received before the 30-day appeal period has elapsed. Once an appeal is filed, the evidence will be maintained intact until the appeal is decided, provided that the DEA or the FBI is notified of the appeal within 30 days of the denial notice. ICE's policy, however, provides for the commencement of destruction unless the ICE SAC receives a copy of the decision letter from the AAG granting the appeal within 90 days of the ICE denial notice.
9-100.200 - Procedures Relating to Expungement of Criminal Records Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3607
For procedures relating to the expungement of criminal records pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3607 (formerly codified at 21 U.S.C. § 844(b)), see JM 3-16.110(C).
9-100.500 - Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act of 1966
The (Pub.L. No. 89-793) recognizes the fact that narcotic addicts, including those who violate Federal criminal laws, are medical problems and should receive treatment rather than mere punishment. The Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act established several different but related types of commitment procedures, all of which contain both institutional and aftercare provisions. Although this act remains in effect, due to lack of appropriation and other reasons it is not utilized to the extent to which it was in the years immediately following its enactment. Other programs are also available to addicted defendants who are sentenced under regular sentencing provisions.
[updated January 2020]