Section 11A Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 | Sale of Waterpipes and Ice Pipes


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Did you know that you could face criminal charges if you are a shop owner who sells, supplies or displays drug paraphernalia such as waterpipes and ice pipes?

This offence is contained in section 11A of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, which imposes a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $2,200 for this offence.

If you are charged with an offence under this section, your matter will be heard in the Local Court before a magistrate.

Section 11A defines an ‘ice pipe’ as any device that is capable of being used to administer a prohibited drug by enabling the smoking or inhalation of smoke or fumes from the heating or burning of the drug in a crystal or powder form.

Devices that are intended to be used as ice pipes, but which require some form of modification are also included in this definition.

Water pipes, commonly known as bongs, are defined under the law as devices which enable the administration of a prohibited drug by drawing smoke or fumes through water or some other liquid.

Devices which are intended to be used as bongs or water pipes, but which require modification prior to use are also defined as ‘water pipes’ under the law.

Getting in trouble with the law for a drug offence can be a stressful and upsetting experience, however our expert drug lawyers can help you navigate the law and fight to obtain the best possible outcome.

The Legislation

11A Sale, supply and display of water pipes and ice pipes

(1) In this section:

“ice pipe” means:

(a) a device capable of being used for the administration of a prohibited drug by means of the smoking or inhaling of the smoke or fumes resulting from the heating or burning of the drug in a crystal or powder form, or

(b) a device that is apparently intended to be such a device but that is not capable of being so used because it needs an adjustment, modification or addition, and includes a device known as an ice pipe or a crack pipe, but does not include a device of a class or description prescribed by the regulations as not being an ice pipe for the purposes of this section.

“shop” includes:

(a) so much of a building or place as is used for the sale, or supply in the course of commercial transactions, of goods, and

(b) a stall or other structure used for such sale or supply of goods at a market or elsewhere, but does not include anything prescribed by the regulations as not being a shop for the purposes of this section.

“waterpipe” means:

(a) a device capable of being used for the administration of a prohibited drug, by means of the drawing of smoke or fumes (resulting from the heating or burning of the drug) through water or another liquid, or

(b) a device that is apparently intended to be such a device but that is not capable of being so used because it needs an adjustment, modification or addition, and includes a device known as a bong, but does not include a device of a class or description prescribed by the regulations as not being a waterpipe for the purposes of this section.

(2) A person who:

(a) sells a waterpipe or an ice pipe, or

(b) supplies a waterpipe or an ice pipe in the course of or in connection with a commercial transaction, is guilty of an offence.

(3) A person who displays a waterpipe or an ice pipe:

(a) in a shop, or

(b) near but in connection with a shop, is guilty of an offence, unless the person satisfies the court that the display was not for a commercial purpose.

(4) For the purposes of this section, it is immaterial that the waterpipe or ice pipe was used or intended to be used for a purpose other than the administration of a prohibited drug.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

If you’ve been charged with a drug offence, your best bet is to get a drug law specialist on your side.

As Sydney’s only specialist drug lawyers, our criminal defence team has the knowledge and experience to secure the best possible result in your drug paraphernalia matter.

Our lawyers have a wealth of experience representing clients in all types of drug matters – from minor drug possession charges to Australia’s biggest heroin importation trial.

In every case, our lawyers work tirelessly to have the matters resolved at an early stage by carefully examining all the evidence in order to identify weaknesses in the prosecution case.

Where problems are identified, we can write to the prosecution asking for the charges to be dropped.

Where you matter proceeds to a defended hearing, our lawyers will work hard to identify any possible defences such as where the police conducted an illegal search, or where you made an honest and reasonable mistake.

Should you wish to plead guilty, our expert drug lawyers will fight hard to obtain a ‘section 10,’ which is where you are found guilty of the offence but no conviction is recorded on your criminal record.

We have a proven track record of obtaining section 10s in drug cases thanks to our persuasive advocates.

Our ability to achieve outstanding results in drug matters is unparalleled by any other law firm in Sydney.

What’s more, we offer competitive fixed fee rates, so you know exactly how much your matter is going to cost you right from the start.

Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference to discuss your case with our drug law experts.