The Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA) and the Controlled Substances (Poisons) Regulations 2011 (SA) regulate the sale, supply, administration and possession of prescription drugs. In essence, only a medical practitioner, dentist, veterinary surgeon or nurse acting in the ordinary course of his or her profession, a member of a prescribed profession (in accordance with the regulations), or a pharmacist dispensing a prescription, are legally empowered to sell, supply, administer or prescribe a prescription drug (not being a drug of dependence) [see Controlled Substances Act 1984 s 18].
A commonly encountered situation for duty solicitors is where a defendant is alleged to have been found in possession of a prescription drug (not being a drug of dependence) and the defendant is not the person for whom the drug was prescribed or supplied. The maximum penalty for possession of a prescription drug is a fine of $10 000 or 2 years imprisonment [see Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA) s 18(3)].
|THE ROLE OF DUTY SOLICITOR|
|Remember that a duty solicitor should not take instructions and have a client enter or even intimate a guilty plea on any drug matter other than simple possession of cannabis offences.|
It is an offence to forge or fraudulently alter or utter a prescription or other document, or to have possession of a prescription or document knowing it to be forged or fraudulently altered with a view to obtaining a prescription drug. The maximum penalty is a fine of $15 000 or imprisonment for five years [see Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA) s 30(1)].
It is also an offence to knowingly and by false representation obtain a prescription drug or a prescription for a prescription drug. The maximum penalty being a fine of $10 000 or imprisonment for 2 years [see s 30(2)].
It is an offence to provide a false name and address to a person who is prescribing or supplying a prescription drug. The maximum penalty is a fine of $10 000 [see s 30(3)].