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What is drug paraphernalia?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Criminal charges related to drugs could include possession of paraphernalia. Perhaps unfamiliar, the word “paraphernalia” refers to tools and equipment involved in the consumption, production or concealment of drugs.

Under federal law, possession of drug paraphernalia is illegal. It is illegal regardless of whether or not the person in possession of the paraphernalia actually uses or has used drugs.

What are some examples of paraphernalia?

Because different substances have different administration routes, there are different types of paraphernalia. According to The Recovery Village, there is a specific association between certain drugs and particular kinds of paraphernalia. For example, most people consume marijuana by smoking it, so there is a strong association between marijuana and bongs or rolling papers. Paraphernalia for injectable drugs may include hypodermic needles.

Where do people get paraphernalia?

People may order paraphernalia from online sources, which makes it easier to conceal the purchase. Some types of paraphernalia may be available to purchase in brick-and-mortar locations, such as novelty stores, tobacco shops and gas stations.

Sometimes people make paraphernalia themselves. Some of the items also have common household uses. For example, ordinary drinking straws may have a dual purpose of helping people snort cocaine.

What are the possible consequences of conviction of possessing paraphernalia?

Possession of drug paraphernalia is usually a misdemeanor charge punishable by fines and jail time. Depending on the circumstances, it could incur a more serious charge.

In either case, having a conviction for possessing drug paraphernalia on one’s criminal record could make finding employment more difficult in the future, and the charge could follow an individual around for a long time.