Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Drug Trafficking, Selling and Cultivation

Drug Trafficking, Selling and Cultivation

Drug importation offences tend to dominate the serious drug practice of the CDPP, trafficking offences are also prevalent. A person traffics in a controlled drug if they:

  • sell it
  • prepare it with the intention of selling it, or believing another person intends to sell it
  • transport it with the intention of selling it, or believing another person intends to sell it
  • guard or conceal it with the intention of selling it, or assisting another person to sell any of it
  • possess it with the intention of selling it.

While drug importation offences dominate our serious drug prosecutions, we also prosecute trafficking offences, and from time to time we prosecute trafficking offences under the relevant state legislation, depending on the case.

Pre-trafficking

Pre-trafficking includes selling, manufacturing, or possessing a precursor and must be accompanied by specified fault elements relating to manufacture and sale.

The Criminal Code contains offences for pre-trafficking controlled precursors, however these offences have rarely been prosecuted.

Commercial cultivation

Cultivation includes:

  • planting
  • transplanting
  • nurturing, growing or tending
  • guarding or concealing
  • harvesting, picking or gathering resin from a plant.

A person cultivates a controlled plant if they engage in cultivation, exercise control or direction over the cultivation of the plant/s or provide finance for cultivation.

Cultivation will be regarded as being commercial if it is done with the intention of selling the plant or its products or believing that another person intends to do so.

  • The Code criminalises the commercial cultivation and sale of controlled plants; we don’t prosecute many of these offences.

Key legislation

Main offences

  • s.302.2(1) Criminal Code—trafficking commercial quantities of controlled drugs
  • s.303.6(1) Criminal Code—cultivating controlled plants
  • s.304.1 Criminal Code—selling commercial quantities of controlled plants

Penalties

The maximum penalties for trafficking controlled drug offences are:

  • life imprisonment for trafficking commercial quantity of controlled drugs (s.302.2 Criminal Code)
  • 25 years’ imprisonment for trafficking marketable quantity of controlled drugs (s.302.3 Criminal Code)
  • 10 years’ imprisonment for trafficking controlled drugs (s.302.4 Criminal Code).

The maximum penalties for cultivation of controlled plants are:

  • life imprisonment for cultivating commercial quantity of controlled plants (s.303.4 Criminal Code)
  • 25 years’ imprisonment for cultivating marketable quantity of controlled plants (s.303.5 Criminal Code)
  • 10 years’ imprisonment for cultivating controlled plants (s.303.6 Criminal Code).

The maximum penalties for selling controlled plants are:

  • life imprisonment for selling commercial quantity of controlled plants (s.304.1 Criminal Code)
  • 25 years’ imprisonment for selling marketable quantity of controlled plants (s.304.2 Criminal Code)
  • 10 years’ imprisonment for selling controlled plants (s.304.3 Criminal Code).

Partner agencies

Relevant Legislation