Mark is a Criminal Lawyer practicing in the Northern Rivers of NSW. The area takes in Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Grafton and Maclean.
Drugs have been used by humans for thousands of years. People from all over the world have experimented with and used drugs in a variety of ways. The Ethiopians were the first to discover the stimulating qualities of coffee. South American tribes have used many different drugs as medicine and as hallucinogens in ceremonies. Tobacco was used by American Indians for thousands of years. There are records going back to Roman times showing the use of Cannabis in Europe. The experimentation and use of drugs is not a new thing. In our society certain drugs taken under certain conditions are legal and or tolerated. Sometimes even embraced.
Here in NSW we have strict laws governing the use of drugs in our community. Over many years these laws have evolved as a response to harm being done in our communities using drugs.
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in NSW followed closely by methamphetamine. It is illegal to use, buy or sell these drugs. It is illegal to have these drugs in your possession. If you are caught with these drugs you will usually be subject to charges. There are some exemptions.
If you were lawfully searched by police and they found a small amount of cannabis in your possession, let’s say .05gm, you might be fortunate enough to receive a cannabis caution from the police as opposed to being charged. Police have a discretion to issue you with a caution under certain circumstances:
- No previous drug related record
- A small amount of cannabis for personal use
- Your full and honest cooperation with the police
- No aggravating circumstances
The cannabis will be confiscated and destroyed by the police. The police may even give you details of community services that might be able to assist you if you have a drug problem.
In most circumstances the police will charge you with a drug offence and you will need to appear in court. In court the magistrate has a discretion and deals with each case on a case by case basis. For small amounts of cannabis that is for personal use the court is generally lenient. Of course, the leniency tends not to be extended for individuals who are repeat offenders. The court will only give you so many chances.
Some individuals take cannabis for medical purposes. This might be to relieve pain. This is still against the law. Cannabis products can now be prescribed in NSW. If you have been subscribed a cannabis product then you are not breaking the law by having it in your possession and taking it. This is currently a rapidly evolving area.
Growing cannabis is against the law in NSW. Growing cannabis, or cultivation, can lead to very serious criminal charges and possible imprisonment. This all depends on the amount grown, the reasons for growing it and the criminal history of the accused.
If you have been charged with a drug related offence in Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Grafton or Maclean you can contact Mark Savic Legal and I would be pleased to help.