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In Queensland, illegal drugs are divided into different categories. More serious penalties apply to drugs listed in schedule 1 than in schedule 2.

Types of drugs

Schedule 1, Part 1 drugs include:

  • heroin
  • cocaine
  • amphetamine
  • methlyamphetamine (commonly known as ice, or crystal meth)
  • phencyclidine (commonly known as angel dust)
  • lysergide (commonly known as LSD)
  • methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy)
  • paramethoxyamphetamine (PMA) and paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA)—(drugs sometimes sold as ecstasy but more powerful)

Schedule 1, Part 2 drugs includes all anabolic and androgenic steroidal agents.


Schedule 2 includes (but is not limited to):

  • cannabis
  • morphine
  • pethidine
  • ketamine
  • diazepam
  • codeine

The full list of illegal drugs can be found in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 of the Drugs Misuse Regulation 1987.


Drug related offences

You are breaking the law if you:

  1. Possess illegal drugs. Possession is not the same as ownership. You can be in possession of a drug even if you do not own it and even if have not used it.
  2. Supply illegal drugs. This includes:
    • giving, distributing, selling, administering, transporting or supplying.
    • offering to give, distribute, sell, administer, transport or supply.
    • doing or offering to do anything in preparation for giving, distributing, selling, administering, transporting or supplying.

For example, just giving your friend one ecstasy pill is enough to be charged with supply of a schedule 1 drug.

The penalties are more serious if you are an adult and you supply:

    • to a person 16 years or under.
    • to a person who is intellectually impaired.
    • in an education institution or school.
    • in a correctional facility.
    • to someone who does not know they are being supplied with drugs.
  1. Traffic illegal drugs. Trafficking is supplying drugs in circumstances of a business or commercial nature. This can involve large amounts of drugs, and can be several acts of supply, or one transaction.
  2. Produce illegal drugs. This includes growing, preparing, manufacturing, packaging and, or production of drugs as well as offering to do any of these things.
  3. Possess items: this includes items used to take drugs (such as a bong, pipe, syringes) or to produce drugs (such as scales, lights, agricultural equipment) and items that have been used for a drug offence or are intended to be used for a drug offence (such as a bowl, scissors or grinder).

If you are charged with any drug-related offences you should get legal advice.


Police searches

A police officer can:

  • stop and search you if they reasonably suspect you may have a dangerous drug in your possession (including a strip search as long as it is done by an officer of the same sex)
  • stop and search your vehicle if they reasonably suspect there is a dangerous drug in the vehicle
  • in some circumstances, police can search your house (or business) if they reasonably suspect there is evidence that may otherwise be hidden or destroyed
  • use drug detection dogs in certain places.

The police need a Court Order to use listening devices, and while they can order a cavity search, the actual search has to be done by a doctor.



Chroming is when a person ingests or inhales fumes from glue, paint, or some other potentially harmful substance.

It is not an offence to possess a potentially harmful thing, but the police have powers to search you if they reasonably suspect you have a potentially harmful item on you that you have ingested or inhaled or are about to ingest or inhale (for example, if they find you with paint on your lips).

In this situation the police can search you, and anything in your possession. If a potentially harmful thing is found in your possession, police can ask you to explain why you have the item. If you do not have a reasonable explanation they can take the item away from you for good.

If you have been chroming, and are affected by it, the police can stop you from leaving until they are able to take you to a safe place (like a hospital or your home) where somebody can look after you and help you recover. Someone at this safe place must agree to look after you.

If the way you are behaving puts other people at a risk of harm, the police can leave you at a safe place. If you are taken to a safe place you can leave at any time unless you are being kept there under an Order (e.g. at a hospital under a Mental Health Order).


Drugs and talking to the police

If you are being investigated for a drug-related offence the police may need you to give your name and address. If you do not answer, you are breaking the law.


Going to Court for a drug offence

Get legal advice if you are going to Court for a drug-related offence.

You may be able to get help from a duty lawyer on the day you go to Court.

If you are charged with a minor drug offence, you may be eligible for Court diversion.


Disclaimer: The material presented on this website is an information source only. The information on this website is written for people resident in, or affected by the laws of Queensland, Australia only. Links to other sites from this website are provided for the users’ convenience. The LGBTI Legal Service does not endorse these sites and is not responsible for the information on these sites or the use made of this information. If you have a specific legal problem, you should consult a professional legal advisor.

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