Do you have a question about criminal law offences?


Manufacturing a Controlled Drug 

Sections 607 and 609 of the Criminal Code makes it an offence in the Australian Capital Territory to manufacture a controlled drug. A controlled drug is generally any drug that cannot legally be possessed as well as any medicine that cannot legally be possessed without a prescription. The penalty for a violation of section 607 or 609 depends upon the quantity of the drug that was manufactured and upon the purpose for which it was manufactured.

Manufacturing defined

To “manufacture” a drug means to produce the drug by any process, including:

  • Extracting the drug from a plant (for example, extracting opium from poppies).
  • Refining the drug.
  • Mixing chemical compounds together to create the drug.
  • Transforming a substance into a controlled drug.

Manufacturing also includes:

  • Directing or controlling the actions of another person who produces a controlled drug.
  • Financing the production of controlled drugs.
  • However, “manufacturing” does not include cultivating a plant. Cultivation of controlled plants is prohibited by a different law.
  • Manufacturing for selling (section 607)
  • Penalties for the crime of manufacturing are more severe if the accused:
  • manufactured the drug with the intent to sell it; or
  • manufactured the drug with the belief that someone would buy it.

The penalties depend upon the quantity of the drug involved in the crime.

Large commercial quantities

Manufacturing large commercial quantities for sale carries a maximum sentence of life. Examples of large commercial quantities include:

  • Cocaine, 6 KG
  • Methamphetamine, 6 KG
  • Heroin, 5 KG
  • MDMA (Ecstasy), 10 KG
  • LSD, 0.003 KG

Commercial quantities

Manufacturing commercial quantities for sale carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. Examples of commercial quantities include:

  • Cocaine, 3 KG
  • Methamphetamine, 3 KG
  • Heroin, 2.5 KG
  • MDMA (Ecstasy), 5 KG
  • LSD, 0.0015 KG

Lesser quantities

Manufacturing less than a commercial quantity for sale carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. The drug is presumed to have been manufactured for sale if the accused manufactured a trafficable quantity. Examples of trafficable quantities include:

  • Cocaine, 6 G
  • Methamphetamine, 6 G
  • Heroin, 5 G
  • MDMA (Ecstasy), 10 G
  • LSD, 0.003 G

When an accused is presumed to have manufactured a drug with the intent to sell it, the accused can avoid conviction by persuading the judge or jury that he or she manufactured the drug for some other purpose (such as personal use).

Manufacturing (section 609)

Manufacturing any quantity of a controlled drug is an offence that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. The crime of manufacturing does not require proof that the drug was manufactured for sale. The offence of manufacturing is most likely to be charged when small quantities of a drug were manufactured by a drug user who probably made the drug for personal use.

Ask a Question - It Is Free