While people generally know that using nonprescription drugs is illegal, they may not know that possessing items used in the consumption of those drugs is also illegal. Surprisingly, many of the items considered drug paraphernalia are actually things that many people have in their own homes.
Possessing these items becomes illegal when the items are used to prepare, cook, test, inhale, consume or hide illegal drugs. Here are some of the household items that could be considered illegal when used for any of those purposes.
Examples of paraphernalia anyone might own
- Miniature spoons
- Plastic bags
- Rolling papers
State and federal penalties vary greatly
The Minnesota law on controlled substances states that possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum of a $300 fine. However, if the prosecutor decides to make the possession charges federal, much harsher penalties can result.
Federal charges are usually brought for any of these three reasons: selling paraphernalia, mailing or transporting it across state lines or for exporting or importing the paraphernalia. Some states do not require that someone commit any of those three actions. Instead, possessing the paraphernalia is enough to bring charges.
Paraphernalia charges may also accompany other more serious charges such as drug possession, manufacturing, trafficking and distribution. An experienced criminal defense attorney can further explain the state laws and how to face federal charges. In any event, being charged with possession of drug paraphernalia should not be taken lightly.
What other household items could be mistaken for drug paraphernalia?