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Possessing Equipment for the Administration of a Prohibited Drug

Possessing equipment for the administration of a prohibited drug is an offence under section 11 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.

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

  1. You possessed an item of equipment, and
  2. The item was for use in the administration of a prohibited drug.

Such equipment may include:

  1. A bong used to smoke cannabis
  2. Rolling papers if they are used to smoke cannabis
  3. A pipe used to smoke hashish
  4. A pipe used to smoke crystal methamphetamine (or ‘ice’), or
  5. A pressurised lighter used to smoke crystal methamphetamine.

The section makes clear that it is not unlawful to possess a hypodermic syringe or needle.

You are not guilty of the offence if you were a medical practitioner, dentist, vet, pharmacist, registered nurse, registered midwife or other profession prescribed by the regulations and the item was for use in the ordinary course of your profession, or if you were licensed or authorised to possess the equipment under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966, or by the Secretary of the Department of Health.

You are also not guilty if the item was for use in the administration of a lawfully prescribed or supplied drug.

Duress is a defence to the charge.

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