Criminal Law

Supply Drugs to a Minor

The Law

Section 25 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 states that:

(1A) A person of or above the age of 18 years who supplies, or who knowingly takes part in the supply of, a prohibited drug (other than cannabis leaf) to a person under the age of 16 years is guilty of an offence.

(2C) A person of or above the age of 18 years who procures a person under the age of 16 years to supply, or take part in the supply of, a prohibited drug (other than cannabis leaf) to another person is guilty of an offence.

The severity of these offences is determined by the quantity that is supplied. 

Penalties

Supply drugs to a minor: The maximum penalty is a a $462,000 fine or 24 years 'imprisonment or both. If the prohibited drug is cannabis, then the maximum term of imprisonment is 18 years.

Supply of a prohibited drug not less than a commercial quantity to a minor: The maximum penalty is a $462,000 fine or 25 years' imprisonment, or both.

Procuring a minor to take part in the supply of a drug: The maximum penalty is a $264,000 fine or 18 years' imprisonment or both.

Procuring a minor to take part in the supply of a drug, the quantity of which is not less than a commercial quantity: The maximum penalty is a $462,000 fine or 25 years' imprisonment or both.

Commentary

A defence to the charge of supply prohibited drug to a minor is if the accused, at the time of the offence, had reasonable cause to believe and did in fact believe that the person to whom they were supplying the drug to was not below the age of 16 years. If the defence is accepted, and the element of supplying the prohibited drug is made out, then the person will be found "guilty" of the offence of supply prohibited drug, only. 

Also, those licensed or authorised under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 or somebody given authority by the Director General of the Department of Health are exempt from liability, as is somebody acting in accordance with directions from the Commissioner of Police with regard to the use of prohibited plants and prohibited drugs in controlled operations and integrity testing programmes.

If you or someone you know have been charged with a drug supply offence, our experts at Prime Lawyers - Criminal Law Division can help. Contact us to make an appointment with a criminal lawyer at your nearest Prime Lawyers office.

We have offices in Sydney, Parramatta, Chatswood, Sutherland and Wollongong.

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