Sale/Trafficking in a Controlled Drug

Sale/Trafficking in a Controlled Drug

A person who traffics a controlled drug or plant is guilty of an offence. Controlled drugs include but are not limited to ecstasy, cocaine and heroin. It is also an offence to traffic controlled drugs or plants in a prescribed area (for example, licensed premises or public areas such as festivals).

What the prosecution must prove

The prosecution must prove that you:

  • sold the drug; or
  • had possession of the drug with the intention to sell; or
  • took part in the process of sale.

There are two elements to prove possession:

  • being in physical control of the drug; and
  • knowledge (or intention) of having the drug.

There needs to be either the act of selling or taking part in selling or possession with the intention to sell.


There are a range of possible defences including, but not limited to, the following:

  • duress;
  • factual dispute;
  • lack of intention;
  • identification dispute;
  • did not have possession;
  • mental impairment.


The penalties depend on the amount of the controlled drug:

  • large commercial quantity: $500,000 or life imprisonment or both
  • commercial quantity: $200,000 or 25 years imprisonment or both
  • less than commercial quantity: $50,000 or 10 years imprisonment or both
  • traffic in prescribed area: $75,000 or 15 years imprisonment or both.

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