Most countries prohibit and/or regulate the use of certain drugs (a/k/a "narcotics" or "controlled substances") that are subject to "abuse" because they are dangerous or pleasurable. The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) formerly posted reports on international drug enforcement and provides descriptions of the of anti-drug programs in foreign countries, but the Web site was stopped on January 20, 2001 by the Bush administration; the reports are archived at www.state.gov/www/global/narcotics_law/index.html.
In the U.S. there are at least three levels of prohibition and regulation -- (1) state criminal laws, (2) Federal "controlled substances" laws and (3) Federal food and drug laws, including the regulation of prescription drugs. The CCH Food Drug Cosmetic Law Reporter compiles laws from all these levels in one set.
Alternatively, state criminal laws are codified in each state's statutory code (see "State Statutes;" see "State Laws, generally" for summaries and comparisons). The Federal laws are codified in Title 21 of the U.S. Code (Food and Drugs). For quick reference, the Controlled Substances Act (i.e., Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970) is codified at Section 801 et. seq. and the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act is codified at Section 351 et. seq. (see "United States Code").
The Controlled Substances Act is administered by the Drug Enforcement Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The DEA web site provides information on the agency's programs and the drugs covered under the five-tiered schedule of controlled substances. The DEA Registration database on KnowX lets you looks up the doctors, manufacturers, distributors and others who are licensed to handle controlled substances.
The Food Drug and Cosmetic Act is administered by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA Web site includes a Drug Information page with information about new and controversial prescription drugs and a Regulatory Information page with links to legal materials, including the full text of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, plus the other drug-related laws administered by the FDA.
FDA Warning Letters are available through the FDA Web site and through a number of Thompson's online subscription products, including the FDA Enforcement Manual. You can look up drugs seized under the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act between 1906-1963 using the FDA Notices of Judgment Collection.