MANUFACTURING A PROHIBITED DRUG

This offence is contained in section 24(1) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985.

Elements of the offence

In order to prove this offence the prosecution must establish that the accused either:

  1. manufactured or produced a prohibited drug; OR
  2. knowingly took part in the manufacture or production of a prohibited drug;

AND that the substance the accused manufactured or assisted in manufacturing or producing was a prohibited drug.

Behaviour that may constitute the offence

Examples of manufacturing a prohibited drug include cooking ice, helping someone operate a pill press, buying pseudoephedrine and mixing it with other ingredients to make MDMA, going online and finding a recipe to make a prohibited drug.

Defences

Possible defences to this charge include arguing:

  • That you did not manufacture or did not take part in the manufacture or production of the prohibited drug;
  • That even though you did take part in the manufacture or production of the prohibited drug, you did not do so knowingly; or
  • That the substance manufactured or produced was not a prohibited drug.

Penalties

It is an offence under section 24(1) of the Act to manufacture, produce, or knowingly take part in the manufacture or production of a prohibited drug. This offence carries a penalty (on indictment) of 15 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $220,000 where the offence involves less than a commercial quantity.

To manufacture, produce, or knowingly take part in the manufacture or production of not less than the commercial quantity of a prohibited drug is an offence under section 24(2) of the Act. This offence carries a penalty of 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $350,000. Where not less than a “large commercial quantity” is involved, the penalty is life imprisonment and/or a fine of $550,000. An offence under section 24(2) has a standard non-parole period of 10 years for less than the large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug (not cannabis leaf) and 15 years for not less than the large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug (not cannabis leaf).

A ‘standard non-parole parole period’ is a reference point for a sentencing judge when they are deciding how long a person should spend in custody (called the ‘non-parole period’) before being eligible to apply for release and serve the remainder of their sentence in the community on parole.

This offence is an indictable offence and the court that will deal with this matter will depend on the amount of drug said to be manufactured or produced. If the amount is less than the indictable quantity then the matter can be finalised in the Local or District Court. If the amount is greater than the indictable quantity then the matter will be finalised in the District or Supreme Court.

If you have been charged with manufacturing a prohibited drug, call Karnib & Co Lawyers at any time on 0450503696 or email us on [email protected] to arrange a free consultation. For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skype, Zoom and FaceTime anywhere around the world.