This site describes the schedules of the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).
The CDSA is the federal legislation that spells out which chemicals and plants Canadian citizens may not grow, buy, sell, swallow, hold, or otherwise lust after.
If you do grow, buy, sell, swallow, hold, or otherwise lust after any of these chemicals or plants you may be arrested, fined, jailed, or all three.
Also described here are the United Kingdom Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA), the United Nations Drugs and Substances under International Control, the United States Controlled Substances Act (CSA), and substances controlled by the European Union.
Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
- Bill C-2, previously Bill C-65, is the latest sulky and spiteful move by the inreasingly erratic, scandal riven Harper government to block safe injection sites. One blithering party hack is even bleating on about “special interests” who want to put heroin in your backyard.
Some of the “special interests” who oppose Bill C-2/Bill C-65: The Canadian Drug Policy Coalition · The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the CDPC and PIVOT · The Canadian Medical Association · The Canadian Association of Social Workers · The Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care · The Canadian Public Health Association · Physician and researcher Dr. Evan Wood · Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson · The Canadian Medical Association Journal · Dr. Philip Berger, Dr. David McKeown, and the Toronto Board of Health · The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario · The Canadian Harm Reduction Network · Public Health Physicians of Canada · Toronto Public Health · Libby Davies, MP for Vancouver East. · Stephen Lewis, veteran politician, diplomat and AIDS activist · Dr. Julio Montaner, physician and professor of medicine at UBC · Over 50 more organizations, including Isomer Design · Wayne Easter: A misguided attack on safe injection sites.
- On 2 Nov 2013 SOR/2013-172, the Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Relating to Access to Restricted Drugs (aka the Deeply Pathological Perpetuation of Illness and Misery Order) came into force, snatching life-saving medicine away from a handful of desperately ill patients. Sentient Canadians were stunned and aghast. The PMO hailed the move as a step in the right direction.
- The purported regulatory status of almost 3400 substances—at least as far as Health Canada is concerned. 3,145 pages of star chamber status proceedings. New—Over 2000 status decisions now posted!
- The legislative history how includes previously unavailable evidence presented to the Commons Committee on Bill C-7 and Bill C-85, legislation that would eventually become the CDSA—for anyone curious how Health Canada tried (twice) to rationalize granting themselves expansive discretionary powers all the while shrugging it off as a mere ”housekeeping measure.” Sir Humphrey Appleby would have been proud.
- 20 Sep 2012 addition by SOR/2012-176 of Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) to Schedule I. New—All about MDPV: From insignificant threat to Serious Drug, ATIs document Health Minister’s crusade to rescue bath salts from well-deserved obscurity.
- 30 Mar 2012 addition by SOR/2012-66 of Benzylpiperazine (BZP) and Trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine (TFMPP) to Schedule III.
- Includes the sweeping and roundly condemned omnibus crime bill, Bill C-10 the Safe Streets and Communities Act. The amendments made by C-10 to the CDSA came into force 6 Nov 2012.
- 19 Feb 2011 proposal to add Salvia divinorum and Salvinorin A to Schedule III. Read more about Health Canada’s agenda for S. divinorum… (updated 19 Oct 2011)
Controlled Substances Act
- 28 Aug 2014 final rule 79 FR 51243: Placement of Suvorexant into Schedule IV.
- 22 Aug 2014 final rule 79 FR 49661: Rescheduling of Hydrocodone Combination Products From Schedule III to Schedule II.
- 2 July 2014 final rule 79 FR 37623: Placement of Tramadol into Schedule IV.
- 7 Mar 2014 final rule 79 FR 10985: Temporary Placement of 10 Synthetic Cathinones [4-MEC, 4-MePPP, α-PVP, Butylone, Pentedrone, Pentylone, 4-FMC, 3-FMC, Naphyrone and α-PBP] into Schedule I
- 27 Feb 2014 final rule 79 FR 10985: Placement of Alfaxalone into Schedule IV.
- 10 Feb 2014 final rule 79 FR 7577: Temporary placement of four synthetic cannabinoids [PB-22, 5F-PB-22, AB-FUBINACA and ADB-PINACA] into Schedule I.
- 2 Dec 2013 final rule 78 FR 72013: Placement of Perampanel into Schedule III.
- 15 Nov 2013 final rule 78 FR 68716: Temporary placement of three synthetic phenethylamines [25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe and 25B-NBOMe] into Schedule I.
- 10 Oct 2013 proposed rule 78 FR 61991: Temporary placement of three synthetic phenethylamines [25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe and 25B-NBOMe] into Schedule I.
- 16 May 2013 final rule 78 FR 28735: Placement of three synthetic cannabinoids [UR-144, 5F-UR-144 (XLR11) and APINACA (AKB48)] into Schedule I.
- 9 May 2013 final rule 78 FR 26701: Placement of Lorcaserin into Schedule IV.
- 12 Apr 2013 final rule 78 FR 21818: Placement of Methylone into Schedule I.
- 4 Jan 2013 rule 78 FR 664: Establishment of Drug Codes for 26 Substances. 78 FR 664 codifies the bulk of the amendments enacted by Bill S. 3187, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act/Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 and in force from 9 July 2012.
Misuse of Drugs Act
- On 16 July 2014 The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2014 proposed to criminalize anyone who may have, take or sell:
They’ve made a bit of a hash of this one. [With thanks to Sean D. for alerting me.]
- An infinite number of tryptamines (of which an infinite number are not known to exist).
- Five ‘LSD related’ compounds (despite any evidence whatsoever).
- On 24 June 2014 The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2014 makes Khat (i.e. the leaves, stems or shoots of the plant of the species Catha edulis) a Class C substance.
- On 10 June 2014 The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Ketamine etc.) (Amendment) Order 2014, a near-impenetrable omnibus amendment:
- Added the N-benzyl analogues of any compound derived from pretty much everything in PiHKAL (but not N-Benzyl-MDA), including any and all benzyl substituents, to Class A. An infinity of substances.
- Added Benzofuran, Indole and Indane, along with their didehydro counterparts, with a 2-aminoethyl substituent (which they incorrectly cite as 2-ethylamino—a nonsensical name I think) at any phenyl position, including almost limitless additional substitution of the ring system and/or the 2-aminoethyl substituent, to Class B. Six more infinities.
- Moved Ketamine to Class B from Class C.
- Added Lisdexamphetamine to Class B.
- Added Tramadol, Zaleplon and Zopiclone to Class C.
- On 10 June 2013 S.I. 2013/1294 designated 14±4 substances as temporary class drugs.
- On 26 Feb 2013, S.I. 2013/239 added infinitely more synthetic cannabinoids to the previously scheduled infinity. Similarly, an infinite number of aryl cyclohexanamines (e.g. Ketamine, Methoxetamine and friends) are now scheduled, as is, uniquely, O-Desmethyltramadol.
- On 13 June 2012 S.I. 2012/1390 scheduled a countable infinity of Pipradrol analogues, and Phenazepam.
Drugs and Substances under International Control
Substances Controlled by the European Union
- Includes proposal of 25 June 2013 for a Council Decision on submitting 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole (5-IT) to control measures.
Readings on drug law design and policy—the good, the bad, and the unworkable.
- Hudson AL, Lalies MD, Baker GB, Wells K, Aitchison KJ. (2014). Ecstasy, Legal Highs and Designer Drug Use: A Canadian Perspective. Drug Science, Policy and Law, 1. doi:10.1177/2050324513509190
- DeBeck K, Wood E, Montaner J, Kerr T. (2009). Canada’s New Federal “National Anti-Drug Strategy”: An Informal Audit of Reported Funding Allocation. International Journal of Drug Policy 28: 188–191. doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2008.04.004
- Wood E, Kerr T, Tyndall MW, Montaner JSG. (2008). The Canadian government’s treatment of scientific process and evidence: Inside the evaluation of North America’s first supervised injecting facility. International Journal of Drug Policy 19: 220–225. doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2007.11.001
- Wodak A (2008)
Going Soft on Evidence and Due Process: Canada Adopts US Style Harm Maximization. International Journal of Drug Policy 19: 226–228. doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2008.02.008
- Phillips GF (1967) Some chemical aspects of drug legislation. Journal of the Forensic Science Society 7: 17–30. doi:10.1016/S0015-7368(67)70367-9
- King LA (2009) Forensic chemistry of substance misuse: a guide to drug control. Cambridge, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry. 249 p.
- King LA (2013) Chapter 1 - Legal Classification of Novel Psychoactive Substances: An International Comparison. In: Dargan PI, Wood DM, editors. Novel Psychoactive Substances. Boston: Academic Press. pp. 3–27. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-415816-0.00001-8
- King LA (2013) Legal controls on cannabimimetics: An international dilemma? Drug Testing and Analysis: 6: 80-87. doi:10.1002/dta.1510
- King LA, Ujváry I, Brandt SD (2013) Drug laws and the “derivative” problem. Drug Testing and Analysis. doi:10.1002/dta.1523
- Nutt DJ, King LA, Nichols DE (2013) Effects of Schedule I drug laws on neuroscience research and treatment innovation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 14: 577–585. doi:10.1038/nrn3530
- ForensicToxGuy (2013) Analogue or not an analogue: that is the question! The Dose Makes The Poison—the incessant ramblings of a forensic toxicologist and drug chemist. dosemakespoison.blogspot.ca
I would like to share with you the mountains of solid, empirical evidence Health Canada has amassed on new psychoactive substances. And, if any existed, I surely would share it. Sadly, as far as I can tell Health Canada stopped doing anything approaching credible science long ago. PowerPoint bullet lists of tabloid headlines is about their current level of intellectual engagement.
Fortunately not every country has abdicated public health in favour of empty self-congratulatory piffle. Italy, for example, just published 1700 pages of hard, analytical data on over 250 new drugs. There is more substantive content in this single document than the whole of Health Canada’s truly pathetic and embarrassingly irrelevant website. Hyperbole? No. Take a look at their Science and Research Page and tell me that fills you with patriotic pride.
I have tried to ensure that the text and structures listed here are complete and correct. I apologize for any errors or omissions. Please report any mistakes you detect or suspect, as well as any suggestions for improving this site, to Steve Chapman.
Page updated 28 August 2014 · Copyright © 2014
This website is provided for general information purposes only. It is not intended to replace official versions of legislation. It is not meant as legal or other professional advice. If you require specific legal advice on any issue, please consult a lawyer.
Although every reasonable effort is made to assure accuracy, laws and regulations governing controlled drugs and substances change over time, and often without advance notice. The information here is presented without warranty, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy, timeliness, or completeness.