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The Parliament has created a list of drugs that are prohibited and the list is contained in the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985. When a type of drug appears on this list, it does not matter whether the drug has a deleterious effect on the health; it is illegal because the law had declared those drugs as prohibited or outside commerce.

Just because a person is charged with possession of a prohibited drug does not mean that he or she will automatically be found guilty. The Crown has to prove that the drug was lawfully seized from the possession of the accused. This means that the apprehending police officer will testify as to the circumstances of the arrest and the seizure of the prohibited drug.

Then, the Crown must also prove that the drug seized is a prohibited drug that appears on the list of prohibited drugs as determined by Parliament. This means that a forensic chemist will testify that the drugs found in the possession of the accused has been tested and its chemical composition has been determined to be a prohibited drug. The forensic chemist has to name the specific drug.

The Crown also has to prove the specific quantity of the prohibited drug seized from the accused. The Crown has to prove whether the quantity seized is a ‘small quantity’ , or an ‘indictable quantity’ , a ‘traffickable quantity’ , a ‘commercial quantity’ , or a ‘large commercial quantity’. This is important as the quantity of prohibited drug seized determines first of all which court will hear the drug charges. Second, the quantity of drugs determines whether the accused will be charged for mere possession, or if he may be deemed to possess a quantity of the prohibited drug for the purpose of trafficking. Third, the quantity of drugs determines whether the accused can avail of bail for his provisional liberty during trial. Fourth, the quantity of drugs seized determines the penalty that the courts can impose upon the accused.

When the Crown proves these facts, the Crown will still have to prove that the accused knowingly possessed the prohibited drug. This is a e matter to prove as the mental state of the accused will have to be deduced by his words or his actions. There must be positive proof that he knew that the drugs in his possession were prohibited. The Crown must also prove that he knowingly possessed the drugs for the purpose of supplying those drugs or drugs trafficking those drugs.

If someone you know has been charged with possession of prohibited drugs, it would be wise to contact an experienced criminal lawyers, preferably one who has had a lot of training in defending drug trafficking cases.

Reference:

Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (n.d.). Judicial Commission of New South Wales [online]. Available from: http://www.judcom.nsw.gov.au/publications/benchbks/local/Drug_Misuse_and_Trafficking_Act.html> [Accessed on 09 April 2013]
Supply of prohibited drugs (n.d.). Judicial Commission of New South Wales [online]. Available from: [Accessed on 09 April 2013]

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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