The use and sale of synthetic drugs has increased rapidly in recent years. This has been met by changes to Queensland legislation to combat what are often referred to as ‘legal highs.’

In Queensland the Drugs Misuse Regulation 1987 lists in Schedules 1 and 2 those drugs deemed to be ‘dangerous drugs.’ The Drugs Misuse Act 1986 then makes it an offence to possess, supply and traffick these drugs which include substances such as heroin and methamphetamines. Different drugs and different quantities will lead to different charges and potential outcomes in court.

However, what is crucial to remember is that section 4 of the Act defines a ‘dangerous drug’ as including a substance that has a substantially similar chemical structure or pharmacological effect. Therefore in Queensland the possession, sale, supply and trafficking of synthetic drugs is illegal even if their chemical structure is changed.

Of particular significance is the extension of the definition to include those substances which are intended to have a substantially similar effect. This broad definition now captures any substance that was intended to mimic the effect of another illicit drug – even if the substance itself is not a drug per se and is chemically distinct.

If you need legal advice about drug charges call us on 3034 000.