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Drug Offences

In South Australia the non-medical use of drugs is regulated by both State and Commonwealth legislation.

State legislation

The majority of drug offences are charged under state legislation, that is, the Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA). This Act regulates the manufacture, production, sale, supply, possession, handling or use of certain poisons, drugs, therapeutic and other substances. It is a complex piece of legislation but it broadly distinguishes between users, who face lesser penalties, and producers or suppliers who in general face greater penalties.

The cultivation of industrial hemp is regulated under the Industrial Hemp Act 2017 (SA). A licence is required to possess, cultivate, process or supply industrial hemp for commercial production or any other purpose [s 8(1)].

For a comprehensive summary of offences and penalties under the Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA) as at October 2014, click here.

Commonwealth legislation

The relevant Commonwealth legislation is contained in the Customs Act 1901(Cth) , the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 (Cth) and the Psychotropic Substances Act 1976 (Cth) . However, in daily practice only the Customs Act 1901 (Cth) is likely to be encountered. The Customs Act 1901 (Cth) is concerned with the movement and control of goods into and out of Australia and also contains many offences not related to drugs.

Drug Offences  :  Last Revised: Fri Nov 10th 2017
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.