The Law on Drugs

Introduction to the AIVL Users’ Legal Guide

The AIVL Users’ Legal Guide is designed to provide a quick reference summary of the main laws about illicit drugs, sexual, public health, and discrimination law.
Drug law in Australia is extremely complex and changes from state to state significantly.

Recently there has been more consistency between states with new laws aimed at preventing the use of synthetic or newly emerging ‘legal highs’. These legal responses have been developed after consultation between all Australian governments but the main laws still remain inconsistent and patchwork.

The difficulty with drug laws – why it is difficult to understand drug law

Drug laws can be changed quickly and without much notice or media attention. It is important not to act on or rely on advice from other people about drug laws – there are so many legal myths and out-dated information in circulation that it is easy to act on a false belief. The consequences of a mistake of fact can be life changing. The only way to be certain that you are not at risk of getting into trouble
with drug laws is to avoid being involved with drugs.

If you do choose to use drugs remember that the law is not tipped in your favour. Many rights that you may think you possess have been altered or removed by governments who wish to be seen as ‘tough on drugs’.