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Drug offences are an important aspect of criminal law. Consumption, possession, distribution and supply of illicit substances in Australia is a serious offence. Drugs are now affecting all areas of society including vulnerable individuals such as children.

Drug offences, whether relating to controlled drugs or not, carry a minimum penalty of imprisonment with several different lesser penalties depending on the severity of the offending. Your outcome and punishment will result heavily on the type of offending, severity of offending and the type of drugs involved. For example the affects of cannabis are lesser than the affects of heroin therefore the penalties associated are likely to be less.

The diversity of substances available including the range of different devices, equipment and ways in which drugs can be consumed is rapidly expanding and causing major issues. If you require assistance with any drug related legal matter then contact Jameson Law for expert advice on all aspects of criminal law.

Common Drug Offences

Consumption of Illicit drugs

If you are arrested for the consumption of illicit substances it will usually relate to driving charges or violent charges which involve you being under the influence. Consumption of illicit drugs is illegal because the substances chemically imbalance the body and brain which affects thinking, cognition, memory and actions. An individual may not have full control over their actions which creates dangerous situations.

Possession of Illicit Drugs

Possession of illegal drugs including illicit and prescription drugs is an offence. The severity of the offending will depend on the amount and type of drugs an individual is found in possession of. For example, an individual found in possession of 0.25 grams of marijuana is committing a lesser offence than being in possession of 0.25 grams of ecstasy due to the potency of the drug.

Possession charges are a less serious offence overall because the drugs are for personal consumption. The consequences are less widespread than the alternative. Possession of enough of each individual substance can amount to a more serious charge such as distribution or supply, even trafficking.

Distribution of Illicit Drugs

Distribution of drugs is a serious offence as the consequences of distribution extend further than just personal use. Distribution of drugs refers to the selling of illicit substances which are either non-regulated or non prescribed medications. To possess these items is an offence therefore to sell these items is a matter taken seriously by the court.

Distribution puts the lives of many at risk depending on the scale and the maximum penalty can see a lengthy term of imprisonment. Drugs are now a crisis affecting people of any age and it is being defined as a global crisis.

Drugs are available for consumption in so many different forms now, from plants to tobacco, to injecting and other related equipment that drugs are having a profound effect on life. If you distribute or attempt to distribute illicit or prescribed drugs then you are willingly putting the lives of many at risk and causing harm within the community.

Supply of Illicit Drugs

Supplying an illegal drug is one of the most serious drug charges that exists. Supply of illegal drugs is the top of the pyramid so to speak as it is the supply chain which filters down the charges, You cannot have possession, distribution or consumption of drug charges without a supply line.

The maximum penalty for a supply of drugs offence is a lengthy term of imprisonment.

Controlled Substances

What Is A Controlled Drug?

Controlled drugs are classed as substances which are regulated by the DEA to ensure safe medical use. Controlled substances include prescription medical drugs which are not illegal to take with a prescription, but are illegal to take without prescription and illegal to sell.

You can be charged for distribution of a controlled substance if you have a legal prescription for the substance yet you have distributed it to others. It is a fine line that many cross with severe consequences.

How Can A Legal Controlled Drug Be Illegal?

A legal controlled drug is only legal to consume if you have a prescription to consume it. The drug itself never becomes illegal on its own it is simply the use of the drug that has illegalities. It is important to be aware of the penalties associated with the misuse of drugs.


A commercial quantity of drugs refers to a quantity which is traffickable meaning it is distributed on a wider scale sometimes even a national or global scale. It will depend on the type of drug as to how much is considered a commercial quantity as each is different.

If you consume drugs from a plant then you can smoke the substance similar to tobacco. The effects of the drug will be almost immediate but depending on the amount will not have the same effect as other drugs. Whereas injection of drugs means having the drugs enter the bloodstream directly. The effect of these types if drugs is usually immediate and profound.


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