Attitudes of injecting drug users towards threshold quantities for drug trafficking in NSW and SA

April 2014

NDARC: Dr Caitlin Hughes & Prof Alison Ritter.

Other investigators: 

Nicholas Cowdery AM QC.

Project description: 

Legal threshold quantities for drug trafficking are used most Australian jurisdictions to define the quantity over which possession of an illicit drug is deemed “trafficking” versus “personal use” (Hughes, 2011). Forthcoming research (Hughes, Ritter, Cowdery, & Phillips, in press) evaluated trafficable threshold quantities across six Australian states and led to the conclusion that some threshold quantities may need to be elevated as existing trafficable thresholds place particular groups of users at risk of unjustified sanction. Discussions with policy makers have highlighted concerns that any reform may lead to adverse effects. There has been no research on this topic to date. This research thus seeks to address a potential policy concern by conducting focus groups with people who inject drugs (and people who both inject drugs and deal) in the two states that were found most in need of reform (NSW and SA) in order to explore their perceptions of existing laws and anticipated effects (if any) of reforming threshold quantities.  

For more about this project: Go to NDARC's website.