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...

Producing Dangerous Drugs QLD


Queensland’s drug laws criminalise almost everything to do with drugs, whether selling them, possessing them or possessing things used to administer or smoke them. The law in Queensland seeks not just to punish drug users, but also those who create drugs and it is a particularly serious offence in this state to manufacture or produce illicit drugs, even if they are not produced for commercial sale.

This section of our website aims to explain the offence of producing dangerous drugs and the penalties that are commonly imposed for the offence, including for first-time offenders.

The offence of producing dangerous drugs

The offence of Producing a Dangerous Drug is contained in section 8 of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986, which states: A person who unlawfully produces a dangerous drug is guilty of a crime.

Depending on the quantity and type of drug involved, the maximum penalty ranges from 15 years imprisonment to 25 years imprisonment.

What actions might constitute producing a dangerous drug?

There is a list of dangerous drugs set out in Schedules 1 and 2 of the Drugs Misuse Regulation 1987.

Section 4 of the Act  states “produce” means:

  • prepare, manufacture, cultivate, package or produce;
  • offering to do any act specified above;
  • doing or offering to do any act preparatory to, in furtherance of, or for the purpose of, any act specified above.

This definition provides a wide scope and would cover the following actions:

  • Growing a single cannabis plant in a garage for personal use.
  • Being paid to tend to cannabis plants as a “sitter” whilst the owner is away from the premises.
  • Importing a tablet press and providing it to another person for use in the manufacturing of dangerous drugs.
  • Buying a dozen packets of pseudoephedrine medication from the chemist and delivering it to the person who uses it for the manufacturing of dangerous drugs.

What the police must prove

To convict you of Producing a Dangerous Drug, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You knowingly took part, or offered to take part in:
    • preparing, manufacturing, cultivating, packaging or producing:
    • a dangerous drug;
    • without lawful excuse.

Possible defences for producing a dangerous drug

Possible defences to a charge of producing a dangerous drug include:

  • Identity – you were not the person involved in the conduct alleged.
  • Coercion – you were forced to take part in the process against your will.
  • Honest and reasonable mistake – that is, genuinely and reasonably believing that the drug was in fact not a dangerous drug, but some other, lawful item.

Which court will hear your matter?

This is determined by the type and quantity of the drug in question. Most minor offences involving small amounts of a drug will be heard by the Magistrates Court. More serious offences, involving large quantities, will be heard either in the District or Supreme Courts.

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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