NSW Drug Possession Laws

13 APR 2022


Over the past month, there has been increasing conversations about Drug Law Reforms in New South Wales, specifically the diversion away from the Criminal Justice System. While these changes are yet to be materialised, it is important to review the current law surrounding Prohibited Drug Possession in NSW. 

A Prohibited Drug are those substances found in schedule 1 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act. This includes Cannabis, MDMA, Cocaine and Methylamphetamine.  

Possession, under the law, refers to having the illicit substance on you and you know it is on you. Should you be found with a substance on you, no matter the purpose, it will be deemed that you are in possession of the substance. 

If you are found with less than 15g of Cannabis on you, you should be entitled to an on the spot warning at the Police’s discretion. This is also subject to whether you have been issued any previous warnings and have no prior drug convictions. 

Next, an on the spot fine of $440 can be issued if you are found to be possessing a small quantity of an illicit substance. This is up to 0.25g of MDMA or 300g of Cannabis, as examples. Again, this is at the Police’s discretion. 

Alternatively, the Police may chose to lay charges for Drug Possession, which can carry a maximum penalty of a $2,200 fine and/or two years in gaol if you are found guilty. 

The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.


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POSTED: 20 Nov 2023
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