Possession of a Controlled Drug Key Facts

Maximum Penalty

  • Commercial quantity (usually measured in kilograms): Life imprisonment
  • Marketable quantity (usually measured in grams): 25 years’ imprisonment
  • Any quantity (i.e., less than a marketable quantity): 2 years’ imprisonment

Possible Defences

  • were under duress;
  • have a factual dispute (e.g., the border controlled drug/plant was lawfully imported);
  • had a lack of intention (e.g., you may not be found guilty of possessing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug/plant if you can prove that you did not intend to sell any of the drug/plant);
  • identification dispute; or
  • suffer from a mental impairment.

What Is The Charge of Cultivation of Cannabis for Sale?

A person who has possession of a border controlled drug or a controlled drug may be guilty of an offence [Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) ss 307.8-307.10, 308.1-308.4]. Possession of a drug generally occurs when a person has some form of physical control over the drug.

The Commonwealth law refers to ‘controlled’ and ‘border controlled’ substances. These terms are used to refer to the same types of illegal substances. The difference is whether the offence is related to the importation/exportation of an illegal substance into/out of Australia. If it is then the illegal substance will be referred to as a ‘border controlled’ substance. If there is no connection with importation/exportation then the substance will be referred to simply as a ‘controlled’ substance.

What Is The Penalty For Cultivation of Cannabis for Sale?

The maximum penalties for possessing border controlled drugs/plants are:

  • Commercial quantity (usually measured in kilograms): Life imprisonment
  • Marketable quantity (usually measured in grams): 25 years’ imprisonment
  • Any quantity (i.e., less than a marketable quantity): 2 years’ imprisonment

The maximum penalty for possessing controlled drugs/plants or precursors is 2 years’ imprisonment.

The maximum penalty for possessing plant material, equipment or instructions for commercial cultivation of a controlled plant or possessing substance, equipment or instructions for commercial manufacture of a controlled drug is 7 years’ imprisonment.

What Are The Possible Defences For Cultivation of Cannabis for Sale?

It may be a defence to the charge that you:

  • were under duress;
  • have a factual dispute (e.g., the border controlled drug/plant was lawfully imported);
  • had a lack of intention (e.g., you may not be found guilty of possessing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug/plant if you can prove that you did not intend to sell any of the drug/plant);
  • identification dispute; or
  • suffer from a mental impairment.

What The Prosecution Must Prove

If you are charged with possessing border controlled drugs/plants, the prosecution must prove that:

  • You were in possession of a substance;
  • You knew the substance was a border controlled drug/plant (or you were reckless to think otherwise);
  • It is reasonable to suspect that the border controlled drug/plant has been unlawfully imported;
  • The quantity of the controlled drug was of a commercial quantity, marketable quantity or some quantity less than a marketable quantity, depending on the charge.

If you are charged with possessing a controlled drug, the prosecution must prove that:

  • You were in possession of a substance; and
  • You knew the substance was a controlled drug (or you were reckless to think otherwise).

 

If you are charged with possessing a controlled precursor, the prosecution must prove that:

  • You were in possession of a substance;
  • The law required that you be authorised to possess the substance but you were not authorised;
  • You intended to use the substance to manufacture a controlled drug;
  • You knew the substance was a controlled precursor (or you were reckless to think otherwise).

If you are charged with possessing plant material, equipment or instructions for commercial cultivation of a controlled plant, the prosecution must prove that:

  • You were in possession of a plant, a product of a plant, any equipment or any document containing instructions for growing a plant;
  • You intended to use the plant, product, equipment or document to cultivate a controlled plant;
  • You intended to sell the plant or any of its products.

If you are charged with possessing substance, equipment or instructions for commercial manufacture of a controlled drug, the prosecution must prove that:

  • You were in possession of a substance (other than a controlled precursor), any equipment (e.g., an unauthorised tablet press) or any document containing instructions for manufacturing a controlled drug;
  • You intended to use the substance, equipment or document to manufacture a controlled drug;
  • You intended to sell the drug.

Case Studies For Similar Offences

We have defended thousands of criminal cases over many decades and constantly achieve outstanding results for our clients. Please view our results by clicking the cases below:

Cannabis

Cannabis

Reference: 1400542

Trafficking Methylamphetamine

Trafficking Methylamphetamine

Reference: 1500569

Trafficking in a Controlled Drug

Trafficking in a Controlled Drug

Reference: 1500054

Trafficking in a Commercial Quantity of a Controlled Drug

Trafficking in a Commercial Quantity of a Controlled Drug

Reference: 1600429

Trafficking Ecstasy

Trafficking Ecstasy

Reference: 1600725

Trafficking Ecstasy

Trafficking Ecstasy

Reference: 1800120

Need help?
Just get in touch.

Call us on (08) 8110 7900 to make an appointment with one of the knowledgeable lawyers for assistance with your matter.