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Possessing Cannabis Plants

Possessing cannabis plants is an offence under section 23(1)(c) and 23(2)(c) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, which carries a maximum penalty of:

  1. 10 years in prison for less than 250 plants if the case is finalised in a higher court, such as the District Court, or 2 years in prison if it is finalised in the Local Court
  2. 15 years in prison for 250 to 999 plants, or
  3. 20 years in prison for 1000 plants or more.

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

  1. You possessed a plant, and
  2. The plant was a cannabis plant.

You are not guilty if you had a valid licence, permit or authorisation to possess the plant.

Defences to the charge include duress and necessity.

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