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Is possessing drug paraphernalia legal?

When a person or group is convicted of selling drugs, expressing an intent to sell drugs or manufacturing drugs, they do not have to be caught in the act. Usually, finding materials and equipment known as drug paraphernalia is enough evidence to prove guilt.

If a person is charged with activities relating to manufacturing or selling drugs, the consequences can be extremely serious, with very high fines and long prison sentences.

What counts as drug paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia comes in many forms. It is basically anything that can be used to manufacture or package drugs. This could be small spoons, pipes, bongs, cigarette papers or postage scales that are often used to weigh drugs. It can be something that is very obviously used to manufacture drugs, or something less incriminating.

Of course, some types of this equipment is not enough to prove that a person is guilty of manufacturing drugs. For example, finding cigarette papers on a person is nothing illegal. The types of equipment found in a person's possession is always taken into context. It will be taken into account the quantity of the equipment and whether they are being used for illegal purposes.

Is the sale or possession of drug paraphernalia illegal?

If an object is defined as drug paraphernalia, then it is illegal to sell. Things such as needles and cigarette papers must be marketed and sold as items for legitimate and legal use.

If you have been found to have drug paraphernalia in your possession, you could face serious legal consequences. It is important to seek advice on the circumstances surrounding your charge.

Source: justice.gov, "Drug paraphernalia," accessed Oct. 26, 2017

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