Law enforcement in Massachusetts take the possession and sale of drug paraphernalia very seriously. That is to say, getting busted with drug paraphernalia is nearly as bad as being busted with illegal drugs in Massachusetts. Under M.G.L. Chapter 94C, Section 32I, it is illegal for a person to sell, possess, or purchase with the intent to sell or manufacture with the intent to sell, drug paraphernalia, knowing that the buyer or user will use the paraphernalia to do illegal drugs.
Drug paraphernalia possession, sale, manufacture, or distribution in Massachusetts is a serious drug crime. Drug paraphernalia is broadly defined and can cover any of the following items:
- Pipes, bongs, and other smoking devices.
- Weighing scales.
- Drug baggies.
- Drug vials.
- Cocaine spoons.
- Hypodermic needles for heroin.
- Crack pipes.
- Equipment for growing marijuana, including chemicals for growing marijuana.
Any device or equipment can constitute drug paraphernalia if a person knowingly plans to use the paraphernalia for consuming, manufacturing, growing, or distributing an illegal drug. Since knowledge of the intended use of the paraphernalia with illegal drugs is an element of drug paraphernalia charges, these charges are often coupled with drug possession charges. An easy way to assume paraphernalia was intended to be used with illegal drugs is if the paraphernalia is found in close proximity to illegal drugs. For instance, a spoon is just a spoon unless it is discovered near heroin or cocaine. A pipe is just a pipe, that could be used for smoking tobacco, unless it is found in close proximity to marijuana. Hypodermic needles could be for a medical condition, unless the person in possession of the needles does not have a medical condition or if the needles are found in close proximity to heroin.
Legal Sale and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
It is not inherently illegal to possess or use smoke pipes, needles, spoons, or baggies. Rather, when these items are used to consume, distribute, or manufacture illegal drugs, the possession and sale of these items becomes criminal. This is why there are a number of smoke shops where people can legally purchase pipes and other items. These items are being sold in these specialty shops with the understanding that the buyer will use these items for the consumption of tobacco and other legal substances, rather than illegal drugs.
Defenses to Drug Paraphernalia Charges
There may be a good, legal reason why you have drug paraphernalia in your possession. Perhaps you have a medical condition which requires you to perform hypodermic injections on yourself on occasion. Perhaps you have a water pipe that you use to smoke flavored tobacco. Whether you were caught in possession of drug paraphernalia and/or drugs, an experienced drug crimes criminal defense lawyer will be able to review your specific situation and prepare your best possible defense in light of the facts of your case.
Contacting a Massachusetts Drug Charges Criminal Defense Attorney
Charges for drug paraphernalia are just as serious as drug charges. They can place an individual’s rights, freedom and criminal record in jeopardy. Our Attorney has helped many criminal defendants fight drug paraphernalia and other drug charges, and she can help you with your defense. Our Attorney has more than twenty five years of experience helping clients just like you. Please do not hesitate to contact Our Attorney immediately reaching out to her online.