Reid Mann: The Steroid Scare – Congress’s Irrational and Arbitrary Anabolic Steroid Laws

In response to The RP’s controversial piece published in The Daily Beast this weekend, advocating for an end to Big Sport’s War on Steroids, Reid Mann offered to the discussion his 2010 law school treatise on the steroid scare.  Here’s an excerpt:

1379730374635.cachedIn 1990 the US Congress passed the Anabolic Steroids Control Act which effectively placed steroids as a schedule III controlled substance. The events leading up to, as well as thoseincluded in the passage of this legislation, suggest a Congressional purpose void of rationality.As a result of the legislation steroids have been criminalized and extremely harsh penalties have been established for those who illegally poses or use steroids. This paper argues that (1) By enacting this law Congress has acted irrationally and arbitrarily and thus the legislation fails the rational bases standard; (2) Congress circumvented an established administrative drug process resulting in bad law and poor public policy; and (3) there are more effective and rational methodsto achieve Congress’s purposes of regulating anabolic steroids. The first part of this paper willdiscuss a brief history of steroids, their pharmacology, and the legislative history leading up totheir criminalization in 1990. The second part will identify why current steroids laws areirrational and arbitrary. The third part will discuss public policy issues, and lastly address better means for regulating steroids.

Click here to read the full paper.

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