The law relating to drug offences in Victoria includes state, federal and extra-territorial drug offences. Drug offences in Victoria can lead to serious penalties. Legal advice is available from Victoria Legal Aid or a community legal centre.
Always seek legal help
This chapter outlines the most common drug offences and their penalties. However, because the law concerning illegal drugs is complicated and highly technical, anyone charged with a drug offence is strongly advised to seek legal advice.
The law concerning illegal drugs in Victoria is derived from two main sources:
• the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic) (“DPCS Act”) as amended; and
• the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) (“Criminal Code”) as amended.
Other sources of law that regulate drugs in Victoria are:
• the Customs Act 1901 (Cth) (“Customs Act”); and
• the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988).
Together, these four pieces of legislation create state, federal and extra-territorial drug offence laws. This chapter covers most of the common drug offences under these laws. It does not deal with offences involving medical practitioners, chemists or licensed sellers of drugs.
As at 1 July 2017, 1 penalty unit (pu) equals:
• $158.57 under Victorian state law
• $210 under Commonwealth law.
For more information, see “A note about penalty units”.