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  • 09 Criminal Offences and Penalties
  • Tasmanian Law: Poison Act 1971 and Misuse of Drugs Act 2001
  • Drug Offences
  • Cannabis and other Drug Offences
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Cannabis and other Drug Offences

Cannabis offences

It is an offence to possess cannabis, to smoke it, to supply it to others, or to possess pipes or other items for use in connection with the preparation or smoking of cannabis, or for the supply or preparation of the drug. The Act does not have different penalties for individual drugs. In each case, a penalty is provided for particular acts related to a specific category as defined in the Misuse of Drugs Act. In general, minor offences in relation to cannabis would be treated much more leniently than say heroin.

There are also a number of property-related offences involving cannabis and other drugs. Under the Poisons Act (s83B), if a person owns or occupies premises, it is an offence to be used for or in connection with the unlawful growing, manufacture, preparation, sale, distribution, trafficking, use, or administration of a raw narcotic, narcotic substance, prohibited plant, or prohibited substance. It is an offence simply to possess a pipe for smoking cannabis, and other implements and devices used in connection with prohibited substances, including devices for its preparation.

Misuse of Drug Act offences

Offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act are grouped by category:  narcotics, controlled drug, controlled precursor, and controlled plant. Cannabis offences are under the controlled plant provisions: sections 22 and 25. Precursors are the ingredients that go into the manufacturer of controlled drugs; drugs such as methamphetamine. Methamphetamine and  other manufactured drugs are ‘controlled drugs’, and narcotics refers to opiates, such as opium and other opiate or synthetic opiate drugs.

In the ‘Penalties under the MODA‘ section of the Handbook the various offences sections and penalties are laid out. In the ‘sale, supply and trafficking‘ section the quantities of the most common drugs, plants and substances that are considered trafficable quantities are discussed. For more detailed information, the Misuse of Drugs Act (MODA) 2004 (Tas) has a detailed Schedule that you can consult.

Other drug offences

Section 169 of the Criminal Code provides that: ‘any person who administers any stupefying or overpowering drug or thing to any person, with intent thereby to facilitate the commission of an offence, or to facilitate the flight of an offender after the commission or attempted commission of an offence, is guilty of a crime. Charge: Administering a drug with intent to facilitate the commission of an offence (or the flight of an offender).

Page last updated 25/07/2019

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