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What does the law consider to be drug paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia charges are some of the most complicated, because there are so many things that can be considered both paraphernalia and normal items. For example, you could smoke marijuana with a bong but also have one for display purposes or to smoke tobacco. You could have a small spoon for cocaine or heroin or have one to measure with for other purposes.

Trying to sell, mail, import or export drug paraphernalia can get you into trouble with the law, even though some items may not be paraphernalia at all. For instance, if you try to mail a hookah that isn't clearly marked as being for tobacco, you could end up facing penalties even though you didn't do anything wrong.

Defining drug paraphernalia is a problem because of its open definition. It's any item that could be used with illegal drugs to take, inject or otherwise distribute them. It's important to distinguish between normal household items and items specifically used for drugs. Doing that is possible only by looking at the circumstances. For example, it might be normal for a diabetic to carry needles or for a chef to carry scales, powders and spoons.

As someone accused of possessing paraphernalia, it's in your best interests to talk to someone who can help. It's perfectly possible for you to be completely innocent of wrongdoing and to still face allegations by police or others. It's your right to defend yourself. Being in possession of items that could be used normally and for drug-related purposes doesn't necessarily make you a criminal, and you shouldn't be treated that way.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Paraphernalia Charges," accessed Dec. 06, 2017

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