The Tasmanian Poisons Act 1971 and the Misuse of Drugs Act 2001 deal comprehensively with provisions relating to the regulation, control, and prohibition of the importation, making, refining, preparation, sale, supply, use, possession, and prescription of certain substances and plants, which for ease of reference are referred to below sometimes simply as ‘illicit drugs’.

The Acts draw a distinction between a number of categories of drugs in relation to which criminal liability may be attached, including, for example, ‘narcotic substances’, ‘prohibited substances’, ‘prohibited plants’, and so on. Clearly heroin, morphine and so on are ‘narcotic substances’. They are also ‘prohibited substances’. ‘Prohibited plants’ include for example opium, coca leaves and Indian hemp. Sometimes the definitions include the same substance, and a person charged in relation to an illegal substance or illicit drug, will need to consult the Acts or the regulations made under the Acts.

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