Category: Drug Offences

Defendant Appeals after Pleading Guilty Due to Incorrect Legal Advice


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim On the afternoon of 26 May 2015, Brett Ritchie was pulled over by police as he was driving down the Oxley Highway near Wauchope. The officers then arrested him due to outstanding warrants. Whilst standing next to the car, Mr Ritchie removed a fabric sunglasses case from his pocket ...

Country-Based Drug Treatment: An Interview with Professor David Penington


In late October, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews approved a two-year trial of a safe injecting centre for North Richmond. The inner city Melbourne suburb has long been the site of an open street drug market, and 34 overdose deaths have already occurred in the local area this year. The campaign for the facility had the support of ...

South Australia’s ‘Medicinal Cannabis Defence’ Hits a Roadblock


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim Independent public policy think tank Australia 21 released its latest report on drugs back in March. The document outlines thirteen key recommendations designed to minimise the harms associated with illicit substance use. Significantly, eleven of the sixteen participants who produced the report were former senior law enforcement and law officials, including ...

Fears for the Life of the Boy Who Cannot Be Named


We previously reported that at around 4.30 pm on May 19 this year, two Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) workers, accompanied by four NSW police officers, entered Newcastle’s Church of Ubuntu, and removed a boy, who’d been residing there with his parents. The 5-year-old non-verbal boy suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. After a ...

The British Empire’s Opium Trade Led to the War on Drugs


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim In the mid-18th century, China was exporting large quantities of highly sought-after commodities to European countries, such as porcelain, silk, tea and spices. By contrast, the goods produced in Europe were of little interest to the Chinese. Under the Qing Dynasty, all incoming foreign trade took place in the ...

Top 5 Countries Where Australians Get into Trouble with the Law


Australians like to travel – nearly 9 million of us take overseas trips every year whether for business, family or pleasure. For most of us, the trip goes as planned and we arrive back home safely on Australian soil. But for others, it can be a very different story. Each year, the Department of Foreign ...

What are the Penalties for Steroids in NSW?


Before 2014, the possession of drugs classified as anabolic steroids was primarily regulated by the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966, which dealt with the substances in much the same way as other prescription drugs. However in 2014, the NSW government reclassified the drugs as narcotics which brought the penalties in line with drugs like ...

Hemp foods are now legal across Australia


By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim Hemp-based foods are now legal across Australia and are expected to appear in supermarkets everywhere. A recent agreement between Australian and New Zealand food safety authorities means hemp-based food products are now legal to produce, sell and purchase, creating new markets for the versatile ‘superfood’. What is hemp? To make ...

Making Medicinal Cannabis Accessible: An Interview with Senator Richard Di Natale


Currently, there’s a private senator’s bill before the House of Representatives that will provide terminally ill patients with rapid access to medicinal cannabis products. But, there are fears the Turnbull government will vote it down. Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale introduced the Medicinal Cannabis Legislation Amendment (Securing Patient Access) Bill 2017 into the Senate in September, ...

Moving Away from the War on Drugs: An Interview with Dr Alex Wodak


The war on drugs in not over yet. But there seems to be some glimmering light at the end of the tunnel, with the major drug law reforms that have been taking place globally over recent years. The US once led the world on drug prohibition. But today, one in five American citizens now lives ...