Small cannabis possession could lead to warning only

If you have been caught in possession of a small quantity of cannabis (15 grams or less) you may be eligible to receive a caution under the Cannabis Caution Scheme.

The scheme has been around for many years, having evolved from a recommendation of the NSW Drug Summit in 1999. The Summit recognised that charging people for minor drug offences was often ineffective.

It recommended that police be equipped with the discretion to caution offenders, a mechanism that places greater emphasis on rehabilitation.


What is a Cannabis Caution?

A caution is essentially a warning.

You may be eligible to receive a cannabis caution if (at the time of the offence):

  • You possessed no more than 15 grams of cannabis
  • Your identity can be confirmed by police
  • The cannabis was in your possession for personal use
  • You were not engaged in any other criminal activity at the time
  • You have no criminal history involving drugs, violence or sexual offences
  • You admit to the offence
  • You consent to receiving the caution
  • The caution is appropriate

The police’s discretion is somewhat limited by the fact that they cannot caution a person on more than two occasions under the Cannabis Caution Scheme. If you receive a second caution, you will be required to contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service to receive mandatory information about counselling and support services.


Get in touch with a criminal lawyer today.

What happens when you receive a caution?

Cannabis cautions are usually issued to offenders on the spot. When you are issued with a caution you will be given a cautioning notice. The police will record your name and address in their computer system and you will also be given information about the health ramifications associated with cannabis use.

Key Takeaways

Benefits of receiving a caution

If you receive a caution you will avoid being charged for the offence. This means that you will not have to attend court and will not have a drug conviction on your criminal record.

If you are approached by police it is important to know your rights.

If you have been charged with a drug offence, or any other criminal matter, and need advice or representation contact Hamilton Janke Lawyers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 4038 1666 (office hours) or 0422 050 502 (24/7).

Written By
Picture of James Janke
James Janke

James Janke is founding partner at Hamilton Janke Lawyers, and has more then decade of experience as a Criminal Defence Lawyer. Admitted to both the Supreme Court of New South Wales and High Court of Australia