The Food & Drug Administration and state and local agencies have designated various schedules for controlled substances. Most of those controlled substances are available by prescription and can be possessed and used according to a doctor’s recommendation. There are other controlled substances that are simply illegal for all purposes. Generally, those have been shown to have no medical benefit and are subject to abuse. There are controlled substances that have been federally designated as Schedule I controlled substances, and they’ve essentially been copied at the state level almost everywhere. One exception to this is marijuana, which is a Schedule I narcotic at the federal level. Under federal law, marijuana is legally equivalent to heroin or cocaine. But many states, including California, have legalized its cultivation, sale, possession and use for medical and recreational purposes; notwithstanding, it is still illegal under federal law.
How Is An Unlawful Controlled Substance Defined In California?