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What are illegal drugs?

What are illegal drugs?

In NSW, it is an offence to possess, use, produce or supply a drug which has been declared prohibited.

Most drug charges in NSW are laid under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW).

The Commonwealth Criminal Code covers offences involving importing and exporting drugs.

The Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW)

The NSW Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 s38 classifies a wide range of drugs as ‘border controlled drugs’ (and 'prohibited plants’ in the case of cannabis, opium and coca). The Act creates offences for:

  • use of prohibited drugs
  • possession of prohibited drugs
  • supply and trafficking of prohibited drugs (with the seriousness of the offence depending on the quantities involved)
  • cultivation and possession of prohibited plants
  • manufacture of prohibited drugs
  • aiding and abetting and taking part in offences involving prohibited drugs or plants
  • possession of drug-use implements.

The drugs prohibited by the Act are listed in a schedule to the Act. They include the common street drugs—cannabis (marijuana), heroin, ecstasy, amphetamines, LSD, cocaine, methadone—and many others.

Commonwealth Criminal Code

The Commonwealth Criminal Code cl39 is a federal law that aims, among other things, to prevent the import and export of prohibited drugs. The range of drugs (again listed in a schedule) is similar to that in the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW). Commonwealth Criminal Code offences include dealing with imported drugs after they have been brought into the country.

Source: A quick guide to drugs and alcohol