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Possessing Prohibited Plants (other than Cannabis)

Possessing prohibited plants (other than cannabis) 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. 15 years in prison for less than a commercial quantity if the case is finalised in a higher court, such as the District Court, or 2 years in prison if the case is finalised in the Local Court.
  1. 20 years in prison for at least a commercial quantity, but less than a large commercial quantity, or
  2. Life in prison for a large commercial quantity.

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

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

Prohibited plants other than cannabis include:

  1. Erythroxylon (a source of cocaine)
  2. Papaver Somniferum (opium poppy)
  3. Papaver Orientale (Oriental poppies), and
  4. Papaver Bracteatum (Iranian or Persian poppies).

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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