In Queensland, penalties for drug offences range from relatively minor fines to lengthy jail terms depending on the circumstances of the case and the drug involved.
Possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use are normally dealt with by a Magistrate and typically attract a small fine in the hundreds of dollars, unless you have a number of prior convictions for previous drug charges.
If there is any suggestion of supply, sale or other commercial dealing of drugs, more serious drug charges are likely. These more serious charges must be dealt with in the District or Supreme Court before a judge. Drug offences of this nature often attract a jail term upon conviction. In certain circumstances that jail term can be wholly or partially suspended.
What constitutes drug possession?
To be convicted of possession of drugs you do not need to be physically holding the drug. If you are exercising control over the drug, for example, if it is stored somewhere by you, at your house, even if the drugs are not owned by you, that is enough to constitute possession by you. In order to have control over a drug, however, you need to have knowledge that the drug is in your possession. If someone has hidden drugs in your house and you are not aware that they have done so, then you are not in possession of those drugs, provided you can establish you had no knowledge of them being on your premises.
In Queensland, if you are an occupier of premises in which drugs are found, you are automatically presumed to be in possession of them unless you prove that you neither knew or had reason to suspect that they were there.