Drugs and related Offences
Offences involving drugs in Victoria are found in the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Drugs Act).
The Act details offences for two separate types of illegal drugs (Drug of Dependence) – drugs you cannot possess without a prescription, and drugs you can’t possess under any circumstance. The second group includes:
- heroin, and
- some other chemical substances.
Synthetic drugs have been added to the list of drugs of dependence and include Extacy and Ice as examples.
The legislation provides for variations in offences and their penalties depending upon the quantities of drugs involved – the greater the amount that is possessed or trafficked, the more significant the penalty.
Conspiring to commit drug offences is also prohibited in Victoria, or an to attempt to commit an offence or to help, induce or encourage someone else to commit an offence.
Police can charge you with 4 types of drugs offences:
- Use – smoking, inhaling, injecting or swallowing, using an illegal drug is an offence.
- Possession – any illegal drug found in your house or unit or on your person will be deemed as “possession”
- Cultivation & Manufacture Drugs – It is an offence to cultivate (grow) and take part in the cultivation of, an illegal plant, like Cannabis (Marijuana). Cultivation of prohibited plants and the manufacture (making) of prohibited drugs is an offence!are illegal.‘Cultivating’ includes things like planting the seeds, watering, tending or nurturing the plants, shading them from the sun and picking the leaves etc. Manufacture means the process of making illegal drugs, including mixing any poison or controlled substance.
- Trafficking and Conspiracy -Extends to preparing a drug of dependence for sale, manufacturing or making a drug of dependence, selling, exchanging, agreeing to sell, offering for sale, or possessing for sale, a drug of dependence.
Trafficable quantities are detailed as follows:
- Cannabis – 250 grams or 10 plants (includes fresh or dried parts of plants);
- Opium plants – 100 grams;
- Coca plant – 800 grams;
- THC (ie hashish or hashish oil) – 25 grams.
- Cocaine – 3 grams;
- Heroin – 3 grams;
- Speed – 3 grams.
It will be deemed that you are trafficking drugs if you are in possession of these amounts of drugs or more.
The penalty for drug trafficking can include a maximum of 15 years in gaol.
Trafficking to a minor (a person under the age of 18) carries 20 years imprisonment.
The more drugs the police find in your possession, the more serious the offence. Higher penalties apply for trafficking ‘large commercial quantities’ of drugs.
Commercial quantities include:
- Cannabis – 25 kilograms or 100 plants;
- Hashish – 1 kilograms (pure);
- Cocaine – 250 grams (pure);
- Heroin – 250 grams (pure).
The penalty for trafficking a commercial quantity is up to 25 years to life imprisonment.