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Entering, Leaving or Being Found on Drug Premises

Entering, leaving or being found on drug premises is an offence under section 36X of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, which carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison for a first offence, or 5 years in prison for a second or subsequent offence.

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

  1. You were found on, or entering or leaving a premises, and
  2. The premises was a drug premises.

A ‘drug premises’ is defined as any premises used for:

  1. The unlawful supply or manufacture of prohibited drugs, or
  2. The unlawful commercial cultivation of prohibited plants by enhanced indoor means.

A ‘prohibited drug’ does not include cannabis leaf, oil or resin.

‘Commercial cultivation’ is where the cultivation relates to:

  1. At least a commercial quantity of prohibited plants, or
  2. At least a small quantity but less than the commercial quantity of prohibited plants where the plants or their products are intended for sale.

Cultivation is ‘by enhanced indoor means’ if it occurs:

  1. Inside a building or structure, and
  2. Involves nurturing the plant in nutrient-enriched water, and/or applying an artificial light or heat source, and/or suspending the plant’s roots and spraying them with nutrient solution.

It is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that you had a prohibited drug or plant in your possession at the time of the alleged offence, or that prohibited drugs or plants were actually found on the premises.

You are not guilty of the offence if you satisfy the court ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that you were entering, leaving or on the premises for a lawful purpose, or with a lawful excuse.

Duress and necessity are defences to the charge.

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