The Australian (illicit) Drug Policy Timeline 1985 - 2016

The Australian (illicit) drug policy timeline provides a list of key events, policy and legislative changes that have occurred in Australia between 1985 and 15 December 2016. Events are listed by jurisdiction, at the federal and state/ territory level. The first table includes events at the federal level. Events in the state and territories are split into two parts. To facilitate repeat users of the timeline all events added in the last six months are highlighted in blue.

The Australian (illicit) drug policy timeline concerns itself with illicit drugs. Illicit drugs refer to cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy, hallucinogens and other ‘designer’ drugs. Excluded from the term ‘illicit drugs’ are tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceuticals (e.g. benzodiazepines), performance enhancing drugs (e.g. anabolic steroids) and other common substances which may be inhaled for psychoactive effects (e.g. petrol), even when these substances are used illegally.

DPMP will continue to update the timeline twice a year. DPMP would like to thank the government and non-government stakeholders who provide assistance in this process. Please feel free to email through any comments or suggested inclusions to