Article Library

Criminal Law – Unauthorised possession of Prescription Drugs

LAC Criminal Lawyers practice extensively in the area of drug arrest and drug charges. If you have been caught by the police or you have a matter the requires one of our experienced criminal lawyers contact us on 1300 799 888.

Most so called ‘party drugs’ are prohibited drugs. Cocaine, speed, methleamphetamine, MDMA and cannabis are all prohibited drugs. They are available because people will pay good money to use them recreationally. Your doctor cannot supply them to you on prescription. Possession and supply of these substances are serious criminal offences. They are the main focus of police activity concerning drugs.

There are a host of other substances that are used therapeutically and for which there is also a market recreationally. Possession and supply of these substances without a lawful excuse is a criminal offence. The best lawful excuse is a prescription from your doctor. These illegal drugs get less attention and have traditionally been a low priority of the police. There are some indications that the police are increasingly aware of other illegal drugs. Possessors beware!

Possession of any thing on what is called the Poisons List without a lawful excuse is an offence. Section 16 of Poisons and Therapeutic Drugs Act makes it an offence to posses any ‘prescribed restricted substance’ without a lawful excuse. The offence is punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment. The offence is less serious than that which applies to prohibited drugs but it is still a criminal offence.

Many commonly used and enjoyed pharmaceuticals are on the Poisons List.

Possession of a Viagra, Valium, and many other prescription drugs without a prescription is a forbidden. Amyl nitrate (it is actually ‘nitrite’) and its various analogues is also on the Poison’s List.  I say analogues because from the writer’s limited experience most amyl sold in Sydney is not amyl anything but isobutyl nitrite a related and similar substance. Most substances sold as amyl are on the Poisons List.

You should generally get your pharmaceuticals after a consultation with your doctor, by prescription from your local chemist.

Many prescribed restricted substances are available on the Internet. An Internet consultation at one of these websites will not provide a lawful excuse recognised by the police or a NSW court.

Importing a prescribed restricted substance without a lawful excuse is also a serious offence and could land you in serious trouble. GHB is not a prescribed restricted substance but a restricted drug and in the same category as cocaine, heroin and MDMA. Importing a litre of this stuff over the net is a serious criminal offence and persons found guilty can assume that they will go to the big house for some time.

People do get caught out over Internet purchases. The author of this article was involved in a prosecution about 3 years ago concerning a young person who ending up getting prosecuted and convicted for importing and trafficking steroids. This individual made all his contacts and his purchases over the net. He was still living at home with mum and dad and the FedEx parcels were in his bedroom when the police executed the warrant. There was nothing legal about the bovine steroids he was importing, possessing and selling at his local gym. He was convicted and only spared gaol because of his age.

A belief that what you possess is legal is no excuse. If you possess an illegal substance without a lawful excuse you are committing an offence.

There are some good reasons why some of these substances are illegal. Doubling up on amyl/poppers and Viagra is a recipe for a heart attack. Steroids should only be used under strict medical supervision.

Police are increasingly policing the drug law. Drug detector dogs are here to stay and there is a greater likelihood that a police officer may get his or her hands into your back pocket at some stage. If police find something that will support a charge on you, you will more than likely get charged.