This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Offences Involving Cocaine


Cocaine is a stimulant drug which is illegal to import, possess, supply or traffic in Queensland. This page describes the range of offences involving cocaine under Queensland law and includes the likely penalties for them.

Cocaine is classified as a Schedule 1 “dangerous drug” under the Drugs Misuse Regulation 1987.

Possessing Cocaine

It is illegal to possess dangerous drugs pursuant to section 9 of the Drugs Misuse Act 1989.

The maximum penalty for possessing cocaine depends on the quantity of the drug possessed. There are three quantity ranges under the Act and Regulation. Possessing less than 2 grams carries a maximum penalty of 15 years; 2 grams or over, 20 years; and 200g or more, 25 years.

Will I Go to Jail For Possessing Cocaine?

If you are guilty of possessing over 200 grams of the drug then a sentence of imprisonment is almost inevitable. For lesser amounts, in particular amounts under 2 grams, sentences other than imprisonment are often imposed. If you are guilty of possessing under 1 gram of the drug, and if it is your first drug offence, you might be eligible for a drug diversion order.

Supplying Cocaine

It is illegal to supply a dangerous drug pursuant to section 6 of the Act.

The maximum penalty for supplying cocaine depends on the nature of the supply. Supplying a child aged under 16 carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment; aggravated supply, 25 years; and supply in any other case, 20 years.

“Aggravated supply” is when a person supplies cocaine to someone who is over 16 but under 18, supplies the drug in an educational or correctional facility, supplies it to a person who is intellectually impaired, or supplies it to as person who does not know they are being supplied with cocaine.

Will I Go to Jail For Supplying Cocaine?

If you are guilty of aggravated supply a jail sentence is almost inevitable. For less serious examples of the offence, a custodial sentence is often avoidable. An example could be where a young person buys a small amount of the drug to share with their friends.

Trafficking Cocaine

It is illegal to carry on a business unlawfully trafficking in a dangerous drug, under section 5 of the Act. The maximum penalty for trafficking cocaine is 25 years imprisonment.

Will I Go to Jail For Trafficking Cocaine?

While not inevitable in less serious cases, most people who are guilty of trafficking cocaine can expect to received a jail sentence, normally with a portion served inside a jail.

If a person receives a sentence of imprisonment (other than an Intensive Corrections Order or a suspended sentence) then the law requires the court to order they serve 80% of their sentence inside of jail before being eligible for release.

Producing Cocaine

It is illegal to produce dangerous drugs pursuant to section 8 of the Act.

The maximum penalty for producing cocaine depends on the quantity of the drug produced. There quantity ranges and penalties under the Act and Regulation are the same as for possession, except that the prison term rises from 20 years to 25 years if a non-drug-addicted person produces 2g or more.

Will I Go to Jail For Producing Cocaine?

A sentence of imprisonment is not inevitable, but one should be expected in most cases if you are guilty of producing cocaine.

Importing Cocaine

Cocaine is a border controlled drug. Importing a border controlled drug is a federal offence under Division 307 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995.

The maximum penalty for importing cocaine depends on the quantity imported. A marketable quantity is 2g, and commercial quantity is 750g.

There are three quantity ranges under the Commonwealth Act which apply to border-controlled drugs or plants. Importing or exporting carries a maximum penalty of 10 years and/or 2000 penalty units. If the amount is a marketable quantity, the maximum penalty is 25 years imprisonment and/or 5000 penalty units; and for a commercial quantity, the maximum penalty is life imprisonment and/or 7500 penalty units.

Will I Go to Jail For Importing Cocaine?

Almost certainly, yes. An offence of importing cocaine will normally attract a sentence of imprisonment, even for first-time offenders. It is very important that a person charged with such an offence seeks competent legal representation at an early stage.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

WHERE TO NEXT?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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