Supplying a Dangerous Drug

In order for a court to convict someone of the offence of supply it must be satisfied the person supplied a dangerous drug.


In Queensland’s law, the very wide definition of supply[1] means:


a)   Give, distribute, sell, administer, transport or supply;

b)   Offer to do any of the above acts in paragraph (a); or

c)   Doing anything in preparation of, or to further, one of the acts in paragraph (a).


It makes no difference whether drugs are exchanged as a gift or a sale. It is still a supply.


It also makes no difference whether what was supplied was in fact an illegal drug.  Suppose someone sold grass clippings pretending they were cannabis. That person would still have offered to supply cannabis, and would therefore be guilty of the offence.


This definition means that even if you have not yet given or sold the drugs to anyone, you can still be found guilty if you prepared to supply.


People caught with drugs often tell the police they intended to share the drugs with their friends, not realising that will result in a more serious charge. This is how people often talk themselves into trouble while thinking they are giving a good explanation. “I’m not a drug dealer officer! My ten mates put in $50 each and I bought the lot to share around.” This is a good example of why you should always take legal advice before answering any questions in a police investigation.


A person who buys, or knowingly receives, illegal drugs is also guilty of supply. This is because they have enabled, aided, counselled or procured the supplier.[2] For example, a prisoner who arranges for drugs to be smuggled to him can be guilty of supplying himself.[3]




The maximum sentence for supplying a dangerous drug can be up to life imprisonment, depending on the drug and the person supplied.