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Commercial Drug Manufacture

Commercial Drug Manufacture is an offence under Section 305.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You intentionally manufactured a substance
  2. The substance was a commercial quantity of a controlled drug
  3. You knew, or were reckless as to whether, the substance was a controlled drug, and
  4. You did so for a commercial purpose

‘Manufacture’ is any process by which a substance is produced, including:

  1. Extracting or refining a substance
  2. Transforming a substances into a different one, and
  3. Converting one form of a substance to another

To ‘manufacture’ means:

  1. To engage in manufacture
  2. To exercise control or direction over manufacture, or
  3. To provide finance for manufacture

You were ‘reckless’ if you were aware it was likely that the substance was a controlled drug but went ahead with your actions regardless

A ‘Commercial purpose’ is:

  1. Intending to sell any of the substance, or
  2. Believing another person intended to sell any of the substance

Examples of ‘commercial quantity of controlled drug’ include:

  • At least 500 grams of MDMA (or ecstasy)
  • At least 750 grams of amphetamines
  • At least 1.5 kgs of heroin
  • At least 2 kgs of cocaine, and
  • At least 125 kgs of cannabis

A defence to the charge is ‘duress’, which is where:

  1. Your actions resulted from a threat of death or serious injury to you and/or a family member
  2. There was no reasonable way for you to render the threat ineffective, and
  3. Your conduct was a reasonable response to the threat

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