Cannabis Souvenirs and Medicinal Oil – Marijuana and its Legality in Queensland

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The use of cannabis oil and its medicinal effects has been a debated topic for quite some time and many overseas travellers will tell you that a number of souvenirs can be purchased that contain “unusable cannabis”. But is possession of these items in Queensland legal?

Drug production, possession and supply are governed largely by the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld). Under section 9 of the Act it is an offense to possess a dangerous drug listed in schedule 2 of the Drugs Misuse Regulations 1987 (Qld). The Regulations list Cannabis as one such drug that is prohibited under section 9. This means that possessing cannabis for any reason is an offence in Queensland.

You are in possession of cannabis if you are in possession of the plants, its leaves or any by-products of the plant including its oil (Section 4 Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld)). This means that under section 9 if you have any part of a cannabis plant in your possession (whether it is in a usable state or not) you have committed a criminal offence under Queensland Criminal Law.

Possession of cannabis is a criminal offence that carries a maximum penalty of 15-20 years imprisonment depending on the quantity of the dangerous drug found in your possession. For lower quantities a fine may be imposed, but it remains a criminal offence and will likely be recorded on your criminal record. There are alternatives open to the police, but these are rare and only apply in limited circumstances. For this reason, if you are found in possession of a dangerous drug you should seek urgent legal advice.

The penalties increase in severity based on quantity of the cannabis found and the number of repeat instances of the offense. The severity of penalties also increases if you are not only found in possession, but are also found with an intention to supply the drug.

Contrary to popular belief it is possible to be charged with the “supply of a dangerous drug” under section 6 of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld) even if you have not actually given the drug to any other person. This occurs when a person has taken enough of the steps toward making attempting. This can even include possessing several quantities of the drug packaged for supply or the receipt of money in anticipation of supply. This applies even if you had no intention to actually make the supply.[1]

While the Act contains a potential defence[2] in relation to medicinal prescriptions, it is very limited in its application and only applies in very limited circumstances. Drug Offenses in Queensland are still treated very seriously and carry significant penalties that may include time in prison.

For more information about your legal obligations in relation to medicinal prescriptions and marijuana please see here.

Please contact our client engagement team or call us on (07) 3252 0011 to book an appointment with one of our Criminal Lawyers today.


[1] Ryan v R [1997] QCA 195

[2] Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld) [s124]