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Equipment for Manufacturing Drugs

It is an offence in the Australian Capital Territory to possess or supply any of the following, if they will be used to manufacture a controlled drug:

  • Any substance (including any ingredient or chemical)
  • Equipment that is used to manufacture drugs (such as laboratory equipment)
  • Instructions for making the drug.

Since instructions for making almost any drug can be found on the internet, prohibiting the possession of those instructions is problematic. The prosecution must prove that they were possessed with the intent to use them, as opposed to possessing them for research purposes or merely to satisfy curiosity. The intent to use the instructions may only be evident if drugs are actually being manufactured or are about to be manufactured. In that case, however, the more serious crime of manufacturing is likely to be charged.

Possession of laboratory equipment and substances needed to make a controlled drug does not necessarily prove an intent to make a controlled drug, as opposed to an intent to make a legal substance or to engage in legal experiments. On the other hand, possession of laboratory equipment, the substances needed to make a controlled drug, and instructions for making a controlled drug all in the same location would be reasonably strong evidence of an intent to manufacture the controlled drug.

Possessing substance, equipment, or instructions for manufacturing controlled drug

It is a violation of section 614 of the Criminal Code to possess;

  • any substance;
  • any equipment;
  • or any document containing instructions
  •  for manufacturing a controlled drug, with:
  • the intent to manufacture a controlled drug, and
  • the intent to sell the drug or the belief that someone else will sell the drug.

The penalty for a violation of section 614 is a maximum sentence of 5 years and/or a fine.

Supplying substance, equipment, or instructions for manufacturing controlled drug

It is a violation of section 613 of the Criminal Code to supply to any person, or to possess with the intent to supply to any person —

  • any substance;
  • any equipment;
  • or any document containing instructions
  •  for manufacturing a controlled drug, while:
  • believing that the other person intends to use it to manufacture a controlled drug, and
  • with the intent to sell the controlled drug or with the belief that someone else will sell the controlled drug.

The penalty for a violation of section 613 is a maximum sentence of 7 years and/or a fine.

Possessing tablet press

It is a violation of section 614A of the Criminal Code to possess a tablet press (a device for making pills or tablets) without having a reasonable excuse to possess it. For example, a drug manufacturer that is licensed to make drugs has a reasonable excuse to possess a tablet press. The violation requires proof that the accused knows the device is a tablet press or is recklessly indifferent to the nature or purpose of the device.

The penalty for a violation of section 614A is a maximum sentence of 2 years and/or a fine.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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