Possession or Consumption of Cannabis Key Facts

Maximum Penalty

  • Fine of $500

Possible Defences

  • It Is Not Cannabis
  • It Was Not In Your Possession
  • It Is Less Than The Prescribed Quantity For A Summary Offence

What Is Possession or Consumption of Cannabis?

It is an offence to either:

  • Possess cannabis; or
  • Consume cannabis; or
  • Possess any piece of equipment used in connection with the consumption of cannabis.

What Is The Penalty For Possession or Consumption of Cannabis?

The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of $500.

What Are The Possible Defences For Possession or Consumption of Cannabis?

It Is Not Cannabis
Section 4 of the Controlled Substances Act 1984 defines cannabis as: a plant, or any part (including the seed) of a plant, of the genus cannabis, but does not include cannabis resin or oil. Thus, you will have a complete defence to this charge if it can be shown that the plant or plant matter in your possession was something other than cannabis.

It Was Not In Your Possession
In order to prove possession, the Prosecution must show that you:

  • were in physical control of the cannabis, and
  • had the knowledge (or intention) of having the cannabis.

You may have a defence to this charge if either of these elements are in doubt.

It Is Less Than The Prescribed Quantity For A Summary Offence
Schedule 5 of the Controlled Substances (Controlled Substances, Precursors and Plants) 2000 states that the possession of less than 100g of cannabis is an expiable offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $300. If you are found with less than 25g of cannabis in your possession, the maximum penalty is a fine of $150.

What The Prosecution Must Prove

The Prosecution must prove that you:

  • were in physical control of the cannabis or equipment; and
  • had the knowledge (or intention) of having the cannabis or equipment.

This is a summary offence and will be dealt with in the Magistrates Court of South Australia.

Deciding whether or not to plead guilty has important implications and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal lawyer. Please come and see the helpful team at Caldicott Lawyers for assistance in your matter.

This legislation comes from section 33L of the Controlled Substances Act 1984.

Case Studies For Similar Offences

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