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Like most Australian Territories and States, it is an offence in South Australia to grow, cultivate, sell, or deal illegally with Cannabis. SA has penalties for those who defy this order to deal with Cannabis for a non-medicinal or regulated purpose.
The penalties for the illegal use of Cannabis are stronger, especially where they are commercially adopted or used. For legislation in SA, section 4(1) of the Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA) concludes Cannabis as;
The Act further describes any of these extracts of Cannabis as "Controlled Drugs" following the stipulations of the Controlled Substances (Controlled Drugs, Precursors and Plants) Regulations 2014.
If an individual is convicted in a South Australian court for a cannabis offence, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on a South Australian Criminal History Check certificate.
The Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA) prescribes guiding descriptions and penalties for Cannabis offences in South Australia. The legislation provides for Simple and Commercial Cannabis (Controlled Drugs) offences in SA.
Following s45A of the Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA), a cannabis offender can be released on expiation notices or fees once they settle the conditions.
However, punishments by expiations are only available when a person commits a simple cannabis offence.
Furthermore, simple cannabis offences dealt with on expiation are usually handled in a Magistrates court in SA.
When a person gets an expiation notice regarding a cannabis offence, they either settle "on the spot" rather than a court summons which may result in stiffer penalties.
Also, settlement of an expiation notice does not translate as an admission of guilt from the person under the Expiation of Offences Act 1996 (SA)
Typically, a person should settle the fines or conditions of their expiation notice within 28 days of receiving it and on settlement of expiation notices/fees.
However, if a person defaults on expiation payments, it may be officially withdrawn and replaced with a court summons.
The expiation fees will differ depending on the gravity and severity of the offence;
If a person is found cultivating more than one plant (2-5), s33K of the Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA) prescribes penalties of;
If the number is greater than five but under 10, it is a likely penalty up to;
Commercial drug offences are grave offences in SA, and in cases of aggravation, they may incur penalties as high as life imprisonment.
These offences are usually treated summarily in a Magistrate per stipulations unless the penalty exceeds five years. For this section, a person is guilty of a commercial drug offence if they possess or deal with a large quantity (prescribed by the law) unless they can prove otherwise.
It is an offence listed in section 32 of the Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA) for a person to move, supply or transport a large quantity of a controlled drug. It is an offence that incurs penalties between;
The offence of cultivating or manufacturing controlled drugs (Cannabis) to sell to another person. It is a crime that carries penalty between;
Under section 33A of the Act, it is an offence to deal in a controlled precursor and large quantities. A person is also assumed to commit this offence if they possess enormous amounts unless they prove otherwise.
It is an offence that incurs penalties of;
It is an offence to cultivate a controlled substance in large quantities, especially for sale. Section 33B of the Act prescribes penalties up to;
It is an offence under section 33C to sell large commercial quantities of Cannabis in SA. It also includes a person who possesses a large quantity of Cannabis and intends to sell them.
For this offence, the Act prescribes punishments between;
It is an offence to sell a piece of equipment used in smoking or consumption of Cannabis or other controlled drugs. It includes major cases where the accused person has possession of these equipment intending to sell them for such use.
It is an offence that incurs between;
And for an aggravated circumstance, this may increase to;
$20,000 or 5 years imprisonment, or both depending on the severity of the offence.
It is an aggravating circumstance in any drug offence to include a child or a “Children designated areas” in a drug offence
Section 33 (F to H) of the Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA) defines various circumstances where a person consists of a child in a drug offence. The most grievous forms of these offences reach penalties of
Other primary offences range between;
If an individual is found guilty of a cannabis offence in SA, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on the results of their national police clearance check.
Individuals can obtain a police check online via the Australian National Character Check - ANCC® website.
Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA) - https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/lz?path=%2Fc%2Fa%2Fcontrolled%20substances%20act%201984
Controlled Substances (Controlled Drugs, Precursors and Plants) Regulations 2014 (SA) - https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/lz?path=%2FC%2FR%2FControlled%20Substances%20(Controlled%20Drugs%20Precursors%20and%20Plants)%20Regulations%202014
Expiation of Offences Act 1996 (SA) - https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/lz?path=%2FC%2FA%2FEXPIATION%20OF%20OFFENCES%20ACT%201996
Government of South Australia (SA Health) - Illicit Drug Laws - https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/conditions/legal+matters/illicit+drug+laws
Legal Services Commision of South Australia (Simple Cannabis Offences) - https://lawhandbook.sa.gov.au/ch12s10s02.php
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