Music Festivals and Drug Supply in NSW

https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/blog/music-festivals-and-drug-supply-in-nsw/


A 17-year-old boy from drug possession offences (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/criminal-law/offences/drug-offences/drug-possession/).

It is reported that police also found over $2,000 on the boy when he was searched by police at the ‘Hardcore Till I Die’ rave.

The Castle Hill boy has been released on bail and required to appear in the Children’s Court on 20 February 2019.

Given the significant amount of cash found on the boy at the dance party, found in close proximity to the substantial capsules found on him, it is likely the police will allege that the cash was from the proceeds of drugs already sold by the boy in order to substantial a charge of proceeds of crime.

Four other teenagers aged 18-years have also been charged with drug supply after being found with MDMA on them at them at the same music festival on Australia Day. All have been released on bail, due to appear the Local Court to face the charges.

A woman aged 19 has also been charged for supplying MDMA after police discovered she had 48 tablets on her at the dance party. She has been refused bail and is due to appear at the Parramatta Local Court (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/about-us/courts-we-attend/parramatta-local-court/).

Statistics

It is reported that police have charged sixteen people for drug possession by issuing court attendance notices. Seventy-nine people were removed from the dance party event.

NSW Health reports that ten of fourteen people who were escorted to hospitals from the dance parties at Sydney Olympic Park and Centennial Park on Australia Day were likely to have been affected by drugs. 6 were in critical condition.

However, they are all stable and have been discharged from hospital.

Many other have taken out their anger at police for being unfairly strip searched and tickets declared void (https://www.news.com.au/national/festivalgoers-targeted-at-music-events-in-nsw-and-victoria/news-story/1f2b8fbb1a7a4012998fbea7faea8667).

A frustrated commenter who tried to enter the Homebush event is reported saying, “How degrading is it to be made to strip naked, squat and cough whilst having two police officers stare you down, judging you and, in the end, after having nothing on you, get refused entry and have you ticket confiscated and ripped up in front of you while you’re watching them refund other people’s tickets”.

The events provided roving drug educators, complimentary electrolyte drinks for the party goers and specialist medics under the Berejiklian Government.

Sixty-eight people were handed the new criminal infringement notices by police. Although, we are yet to see if these on-the-spot fines are effective.

Gladys Berejiklian, Premier, maintains her stance against pill testing and is reported saying, “I know some people are advocating one solution or another but there isn’t one solution. It’s a complex issue. We want young people to feel they can have a conversation, we want young people to get help when they need it.”

Whilst ruling out pill testing at music festival, the Premier says that she hopes that the message not to take drugs starts getting across to people.

With the range of new strategies introduced by the Premier in the fight against drugs at music festivals, Australian taxpayers are forking out $500,000 for specialist medics to be present at these festivals over the Australia day weekend.

Laws on Drug Supply in NSW (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/criminal-law/offences/drug-offences/drug-supply/)

The penalties for supplying prohibited drugs in NSW ultimately depend on the weight that the particular drug is categorised as.

Where the drugs you are charged with are found to be at least the ‘traffickable quantity’, you will be assumed by the law to have had it in your possession for the purpose of supplying drugs. Supplying drugs can include giving it away for free to anyone. But where you are found to supply drugs in return for money, for a financial greed, the courts will impose heavier penalties than, for example a person who supplies out of a need to fund a drug habit.

The traffickable quantity may be different for specific kinds of prohibited drugs in NSW.

The penalties for drug supply offences in NSW are outlined in the table below:

Quantity If Local Court If District Court
Small Quantity  

2 years imprisonment and/or $5,500 fine

 

15 years imprisonment or $220,000 fine
Between Small Quantity and Indictable Quantity 2 years imprisonment and/or $11,000 fine  

15 years imprisonment and/or $220,000 fine

Between Indictable Quantity and Commercial Quantity 2 years imprisonment and/or $11,000 fine  

15 years imprisonment and/or $220,000 fine

Between Commercial Quantity and Large Commercial Quantity Cannot be dealt with in Local Court  

20 years imprisonment and/or $385,000 fine

Large Commercial Quantity Cannot be dealt with in Local Court  

Life imprisonment and/or $550,000 fine

Weight Categories for Drug Supply Offences in NSW:

Prohibited Plant/Drug Small Q Trafficable Quantity Indictable Quantity Commercial Quantity Large Commercial Quantity
Amphetamine 1 g 3.0 g 5 g 250.0 g 1 kg
Cannabis Leaf 30 g 300 g 1000 g 25.0 g 100 g
Cannabis Oil 2 g 5 g 10 g 500.0 g 2 kg
Cannabis Resin 5 g 30 g 90 g 2.5 Kg 10 Kg
Cocaine 1 g 3 g 5 g 250.0 g 1 Kg
Heroin 1 g 3 g 5 g 250.0 g 1 Kg
Lysergic acid 0.0008 g 0.003 g 0.005 g 0.5 g 2 g
Methylamphetamine 1 g 3 g 5 g 250 g 1 Kg
MDMA/Ecstasy 0.25 g 0.75 g 1.25 g 125 g 500g

Where the weight of the drug is at least the commercial quantity, a ‘standard non-parole period’ applies to an offender.

The non-parole period is the period of full-time jail that a Judge sets for an offender who will be required to be behind bars for the non-parole period before being eligible for release on parole.

A ‘standard non-parole’ period is where a court is required to consider as a guidepost the standard non-parole period for the offence under the law in order to come to an appropriate sentencing penalty for a drug supply offence.

The standard non-parole period applies as a guide for Judges to consider imposing where the drug supply offence is considered to be within the middle-range of objective seriousness of that kind of drug supply offence.

This means, the standard non-parole period for a drug supply offence where the drug falls within the commercial quantity is 10-years non-parole.

The standard non-parole period for a drug supply offence where the drug falls within the large commercial quantity category is 15-years.

This is reflected in Division 1A, Part 4 Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) (http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/cpa1999278/xx1.html).

For more details about drug supply, see out article on the defences to drug supply charges in NSW (https://www.criminaldefencelawyers.com.au/blog/what-is-the-law-and-penalties-for-drug-supply-charges-in-nsw/).


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