Last updated 29 August 2016
When drug charges are contested, the prosecution will normally obtain an analyst’s certificate to identify and prove the amount of the relevant drug. Section 128 of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld) states that an analysis certificate is conclusive evidence of the identity and quantity of the thing analysed, in the absence of any contrary evidence. However, a certificate can only be produced by the prosecution to prove facts disclosed on analysis or deducible from the results with the aid of an expert. The prosecution cannot use the certificate as a vehicle for introducing and admitting other evidence. The prosecution also often produces statements from experts about the process of drug production where persons are charged with drug production or possession of chemicals, or things alleged to have been used in drug production. These experts often provide their opinion on the amount of a dangerous drug (mostly amphetamines) that could have been produced from precursor chemicals seized by police.
Queensland will join New South Wales and Victoria in trials of medicinal cannabis. The trials will explore the use of safe pharmaceutical products derived from cannabis to treat medical conditions, such as children with severe, drug-resistant epilepsy. Clinical trials are expected to begin in 2016. In the interim, the use of cannabis remains illegal.