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Are Anabolic Steroids Illegal?
The following information is from The Steroid Law. You can find all the legal information you need from that website.
Steroids As Controlled Substances
Back in the 1970's and 1980's, federal regulation of anabolic steroids came under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Anabolic steroids were required to be prescribed and dispensed by licensed physicians but were not scheduled as controlled substances. It is often overlooked, however, that black market drug trafficking of anabolic steroids was already illegal before anabolics became classified as controlled substances. Under 1988 legislation amending the Food and Drug Act, criminal penalties were specifically set forth for traffickers in anabolic steroids for non-medical reasons. This Anti-Drug Abuse Act would have enabled effective enforcement against those illegally dispensing steroids and black market dealers, including application of federal forfeiture laws, without classifying steroids as controlled substances. But in the mid-1980's, media reports of the increasing use of anabolic steroids in sports, including a "silent epidemic" of high school steroid use, came to the attention of the U.S. government. Congress grew particularly concerned with steroid use among high school students and among top amateur athletes. Certain members representing only a small minority of the medical community began suggesting controlled substance status for anabolic steroids. Between 1988 and 1990, Congressional hearings were held to determine whether the Controlled Substances Act should be amended to include anabolic steroids along with more serious drugs like cocaine and heroin. The majority of witnesses who testified, including medical professionals and representatives of regulatory agencies (including the FDA, the DEA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse) recommended against the proposed amendment to the law. Even the American Medical Association repeatedly and vehemently opposed it, maintaining that steroid abuse does not lead to the physical or psychological dependence required for scheduling under the Controlled Substances Act!
Punishment Under The Control Act
Simple possession of any Schedule III substance is a federal offense punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a minimum fine of $1,000. Simple possession by a person with a previous conviction for certain offenses, including any drug or narcotic crimes, must get imprisonment of at least 15 days and up to two years, and a minimum fine of $2,500. Individuals with two or more such previous convictions face imprisonment of not less than 90 days but not more than three years, and a minimum fine of $5,000, just for simply possessing. Selling steroids, or possessing them with intent to sell, is a federal felony. An individual who sells steroids, or possesses with intent to sell, is punishable by up to five years in prison (with at least two additional years of supervised release) and/or a $250,000 fine. An individual who commits such a violation after a prior conviction for a drug offense faces up to ten years imprisonment (with at least four additional years of special parole) and/or increased fines. Those convicted of steroid trafficking are subject to punishment under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which link the seriousness of the offense to the quantity of steroids involved. The application of these Guidelines to anabolic steroid cases, including real world examples, will be explored in a future article.
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