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Prohibited Drugs

Prohibited Drugs

Prohibited Drug Charges

Prohibited drug offences are a common reason why many people find themselves before the courts.   Drug charges carry significant fines and lengthy gaol sentences. Whether it be a drug possession charge or drug supply charge.  NSW Courts take these offences very seriously.

In recent years there has also been an increase in the methods and ways in which police and other law enforcement agencies detect and investigate drug possession and drug supply offences. This includes things like using   drug detection dogs,   undercover operations and surveillance devices. As a result, the detection and prosecution of prohibited drug offences has seen an increase in recent years.

Types of drug charges in NSW

​In NSW the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 creates offences and penalties for offences relating to prohibited drugs. The penalties for drug charges  depend on the type of offence as well as the quantity of prohibited drugs . Below are some of the different types of offences and their penalties:

  • Drug possession – up to $2,200 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment
  • Drug supply – up to $5.5m fine and/or imprisonment for life
  • Manufacturing a prohibited drug – up to $5.5m fine and/or imprisonment for life
  • Cultivating a prohibited plant – up to $6.6m fine and/or imprisonment for 24 years.

Types of drugs and their weight

The quantity of a prohibited drug affects the applicable charges and penalties. Weight amounts for illicit drugs fall into five different categories

  • Small quantity
  • Traffickable quantity
  • Indictable quantity
  • Commercial quantity
  • Large commercial quantity.

Common prohibited drugs and quantities

Drug TypeSmall quantityTrafficable quantityIndictable quantityCommercial quantityLarge Commercial quantity
Amphetamine1 gram3 grams5 grams250 grams500 grams
Cannabis leaf30 grams300 grams1kg25kg100kg
Cannabis plantN/A5 plants50 plants250 plants/50 plants (if cultivated by enhanced indoor means)200 plants/1000 plants (if cultivated by enhanced indoor means)
Cocaine1 gram3 grams5 grams250 grams1 kg
Ketamine2.5 grams7.5 grams12.5 grams1.25 kg5 kg
LSD0.0008 gram0.003 gram0.005 gram0.0005 kg0.002 kg
MDMA0.25 gram0.75 gram1.25 gram125 grams500 grams
Methylamphetamine1 gram3 grams5 grams250 grams500 grams

What should I do if I’ve been charged with a drug offence?

​Convictions for drug charges can be devastating. It can affect and limit your employment prospects and can even prevent you from travelling to some countries. Therefore, attending court for any drug offence, requires proper and experienced legal representation.

The most common drug charge is “possession of a prohibited drug”. In most cases police will hand you a yellow slip called a ‘Field court attendance notice’. This sets out the date and location of the court you need to attend. They may also give you a ‘written notice of pleading’.

If you find yourself in this position it is important to seek advice from a specialist criminal lawyer immediately. Marsh Blom Lawyers offer a free consultation where we can explain the penalties, procedure, and what we can do to ensure you get the best result at court.

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