What is Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Normally if someone is picked up for a misdemeanor drug charge, he is charged with two crimes: simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. The paraphernalia charge is the more serious of the two charges. Misdemeanor possession of marijuana is a class 3 misdemeanor.

Misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina. See NCGS 90-113.22. It is illegal to possess paraphernalia that enables the following: planting marijuana, propagating marijuana, growing marijuana, harvesting marijuana, packing marijuana, storing marijuana, concealing marijuana, or ingesting marijuana.

Since possession of drug paraphernalia (meth, weed, cocaine, crack, heroin, pot) is a Class 1 misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to 120 days in incarceration, depending on someone’s prior record level.

As defined in the statute NCGS 90-113.21, paraphernalia is anything that is used for using the drug, selling the drug, transporting the drug, or hiding the drug can count as drug paraphernalia. Looking at these categories, pipes, bongs, gravity bongs, hookahs, bowls, and other items such as joint papers, unrolled cigars, unrolled black and milds, can all constitute drug paraphernalia. Paraphernalia for selling and storing marijuana can include laundry bins, storage sheds, and plastic baggies. Scales and other items count as drug paraphernalia in terms of selling and trafficking marijuana.

Sometimes when someone is arrested for simple possession of marijuana or simple marijuana possession, the police will charge the person with possession of drug paraphernalia just for the little bag that the marijuana was held in.

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.