Breadcrumbs

Illicit drug laws

Amphetamines and the law

In South Australia, amphetamines (PDF 127KB) are declared as drugs of dependence under regulation 7 of the Controlled Substances (Poisons) Regulations 2011. Amphetamines are also controlled drugs under section 4(1) of the Controlled Substances Act 1984. Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances (Controlled Drugs, Precursors and Plants) Regulations 2014 lists the prescribed quantities of amphetamines for legal purposes. 

It is illegal to keep or use amphetamines unless they have been prescribed for you by a doctor for a recognised medical condition. It is also illegal to make, keep, use, sell or give away amphetamines.

Cannabis and the law

In South Australia, cannabis (PDF 124KB), cannabis oil and cannabis resin are defined under section 4(1) of the Controlled Substances Act 1984 and declared as controlled drugs under the schedules in the Controlled Substances (Controlled Drugs, Precursors and Plants) Regulations 2014.The schedules list the prescribed quantities for legal purposes. It is illegal to keep, use, grow, sell or give away cannabis, cannabis oil or cannabis resin. Minor offences relating to personal possession or use of cannabis or cannabis resin or related smoking equipment by adults can be dealt with by paying an on-the-spot fine, which means you avoid a criminal conviction.

Ecstasy and the law

In South Australia, ecstasy (PDF 123KB) is a controlled drug under section 4(1) of the Controlled Substances Act 1984. Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances (Controlled Drugs, Precursors and Plants) Regulations 2014 lists the prescribed quantities of amphetamines for legal purposes. It is illegal to make, keep, use, sell or give away ecstasy.

Heroin and the law

In South Australia, heroin (PDF 122.44KB) is a controlled drug under section 4(1) of the Controlled Substances Act 1984. Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances (Controlled Drugs, Precursors and Plants) Regulations 2014 lists the prescribed quantities of heroin for legal purposes. It is illegal to make, keep, use, sell or give away heroin.

Cocaine and the law

In South Australia, cocaine (PDF 123KB) is a declared drug of dependence under regulation 7 of the Controlled Substances (Poisons) Regulations 2011. Cocaine is also a controlled drug under section 4(1) of the Controlled Substances Act 1984. Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances (Controlled Drugs, Precursors and Plants) Regulations 2014 lists the prescribed quantities of cocaine for legal purposes.

It is illegal to keep or use cocaine unless it has been prescribed for you by a doctor for a recognised medical condition. It is also illegal to make, keep, use, sell or give away cocaine.

Steroids and the law

In South Australia, steroids (PDF 119KB) are classed as prescription drugs under section 4(1) of the Controlled Substances Act 1984. It is illegal to keep or use steroids unless they have been prescribed for you by a doctor for a recognised medical condition. It is also illegal to make, sell or give away steroids.

Hallucinogens and the law

In South Australia, hallucinogens (PDF 118.82KB) such as Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) are controlled drugs under section 4(1) of the Controlled Substances Act 1984. Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances (Controlled Drugs, Precursors and Plants) Regulations 2014 lists the prescribed quantities of hallucinogens such as LSD for legal purposes. 

It is illegal to make, keep, use, sell or give away hallucinogens such as LSD.

Volatile substances and the law

In South Australia, it is an offence under section 19(1) of the Controlled Substances Act 1984 to sell or give a volatile solvent (PDF 127KB) to another person, if you suspect or have reasonable grounds to suspect that the person:

  • intends to inhale the solvent; or
  • intends to give or sell the solvent to a further person for inhalation by that further person.

It is also an offence under section 19(2) of the Act to purchase a volatile solvent on behalf of another person for that other person to inhale the solvent.

The volatile substances that these offences apply to are listed in regulation 8 of the Controlled Substances (Poisons) Regulations 2011. The offences apply to the pure volatile solvent or if the volatile solvent is included in a product such as a paint or glue.

Drug driving

Under the section 47 of the Road Traffic Act 1961, it is an offence to drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a drug as to be incapable of exercising effective control of the vehicle.

In South Australia, police conduct random roadside saliva tests to detect the presence of illegal drugs.

You can be tested for:

Unlike drink driving, there is no legal limit when it comes to drugs and driving. It is an offence to get behind the wheel of a vehicle with any amount of these illicit drugs in your system.

Testing for illicit drugs

Police can randomly stop you any time, anywhere in metropolitan and regional South Australia and test you for illicit drugs.

A saliva test is used, which is a non-invasive method for detecting the presence of THC, methylamphetamine and MDMA. The test takes approximately five minutes and is accurate and reliable. The saliva test does not detect prescription or common over the counter medications such as cold and flu tablets.

There are penalties for refusing or failing to undertake a drug screening test, oral fluid (saliva) analysis or blood test.

Risks of drug driving

Drugs in your system makes driving extremely dangerous because they impair coordination, reduce reaction time, affect your vision and your ability to judge distance and speed.

The Motor Accident Commission's Drug Drive campaign raises awareness about the risks and consequences of drug driving.

^ Back to top