What is the offence of supply prohibited drug?

Under section 25 of the Drugs Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW), a person may be charged with this offence where it is suspected that he or she supplied or knowingly took part in the supply of a prohibited drug.

A list of prohibited drugs is found in Schedule 1 of the Act.

What does it mean to knowingly take part in supply?

Section 6 of the Act provides that a person has knowingly ‘takes part in’ a drug supply operation when:

  1. the person takes, or participates in, any step, or causes any step to be taken, in the process of that cultivation, manufacture, production or supply; or
  2. the person provides or arranges finance for any such step in that process; or
  3. the person provides the premises in which any such step in that process is taken, or permits any such step in that process to be taken in the premises of which the person is the owner, lessee or occupier or in management.

What is supply?

Section 3 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act defines ‘supply’ as:

“Supply includes sell and distribute. It also includes agreeing to supply or offering to supply, keeping or having in possession for supply…”

This means that it is possible to be charged with a supply offence even where no drugs were actually dealt.

“Supply” does not include temporary possession of a prohibited drug with the intention of returning it to the owner of the drug: R v Carey (1990) 20 NSWLR 292.

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