Morphinone is itself not a very potent opioid but it is the intermediate when morphine is being converted to hydromorphone (trade name Dilaudid®) which is 4-6 times as potent as morphine. Dilaudid is generally used only in palliative care or for pain in individuals who are already tolerant to opiates. In the United Kingdom, Dilaudid is marketed as Palladone® and Palladone SR®. The equivalent of Palladone SR® was removed from the US market when it was discovered that mixing alcohol with the sustained release capsules could cause the whole dose to be released at once, often with fatal consequences.
Morphinone itself is an active opiate although its potency is closer to codeine than morphine. It is, however, an important precursor and would fall under the purview of the Controlled Substances Act within the United States. Its legal status in other countries varies.