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What is considered drug paraphernalia in Maryland?

Although the Maryland General Assembly moved to decriminalize the possession of marijuana earlier this year, it may come as a surprise to some to learn that having drug paraphernalia in your possession is still considered a misdemeanor in the state.

There are many different types of items that fall under the classification of drug paraphernalia. While some may appear obvious such as marijuana pipes, crack pipes or cocaine straws, others may appear more innocuous, such as a syringe or small baggies that have been used for storing quantities of drugs.

Interestingly, although the Federal Drug Paraphernalia Statute gives a definition of what is considered drug paraphernalia, the primary use of an item may determine whether or not it falls under the statute. As an example, FindLaw states that if you have purchased a water pipe but have never used it, it may not be considered a marijuana bong unless there is evidence of drug residue, or if the water pipe was actually described and sold as being a marijuana bong.

In addition to the drug paraphernalia laws that cover items that are often obviously associated with drug use, it is important to realize that there are also laws in place that govern possession of materials, such as laboratory equipment that could be used in the manufacturing of drugs like methamphetamine that also may fall under the drug paraphernalia statute.

Defendants who are facing drug charges such as drug possession or possession of drug paraphernalia may find it beneficial to seek the counsel of an experienced Maryland criminal attorney to assist them with their case.

Source: Annapolis Patch, "Can I be arrested for possessing drug paraphernalia?" Drew Cochran, Dec. 22, 2014

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