It is an offence to produce dangerous drugs. In Queensland, this offence most commonly relates to cannabis and methyl-amphetamine (speed and ice).
Section 8 of the Drugs Misuse Act (Qld) sets out the offence of producing dangerous drugs. For commercial production of Schedule 1 drugs, the maximum penalty is 25 years' imprisonment, or 20 years' imprisonment if the person was a "drug dependant person" at the time of the offences. The maximum penalty for producing Schedule 2 drugs (such as cannabis) is 15 years' imprisonment.
The legal definition of "produce" is very broad. It includes:
- prepare, manufacture, cultivate, package or produce; and
- offering to do any of the above; and
- doing or offering to do any act preparatory to, in furtherance of, or for the purpose of, any act in paragraph (1) above.
What type of penalty will I receive?
The type of penalty that you will receive depends on many factors, including:
- the type of drug (i.e Schedule 1 or Schedule 2);
- whether the production was commercial or for personal use;
- whether you were a "drug-dependent person" at the time of the offences;
- the level of pre-planning and organisation associated with your offending;
- whether you plead guilty or are convicted after a trial;
- your personal circumstances including your age, employment, family circumstances, remorse and efforts at rehabilitation;
- which Court hears the charge (Magistrates, District or Supreme Court).
What are my options to defend the charge?
There are a number of defences to a charge of producing dangerous drugs. Remember, however, that each case is different, and the best strategy depends on the particular evidence and facts.
It may be possible to argue that you are not guilty of the charge of producing dangerous drugs on the basis that:
- you were not engaged in producing dangerous drugs i.e. your actions did not amount to the legal definition of production;
- that the production was authorised, justified or excused by law;
- that you were acting under duress;
- that the thing produced was not a dangerous drug
It may also be possible to hold negotiations with the prosecution to reduce or downgrade the charge. Whether or not a particular defence applies in your case depends on the specific facts.
You can read more about Queensland Drug Offences here.
If you or a family member need help or advice about drug abuse or addiction, we recommend contacting Queensland Health’s Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 177 833. It is a free, 24/7 service which provides information, support, and referrals.