Drug Paraphernalia

Most of us know that the chances of being penalized or convicted for possessing, selling, manufacturing, and distributing controlled substances are very high.

What most may not be aware of is that you can be penalized for possessing, selling, manufacturing, and distributing certain types of drug paraphernalia as well.

drug paraphernalia

Even Association With Drug Paraphernalia May Be A Crime

Any association with such drug paraphernalia may be considered a criminal offense. You may actually face criminal charges for being associated with drug paraphernalia even without facing charges for the actual drugs.

Even though such charges are typically not as intense as actual drug charges, your criminal record still takes a hit if you are ever found guilty.

What Exactly Is Drug Paraphernalia in Colorado?

To better understand how Colorado defines its drug paraphernalia laws, it is important to get a clear understanding of what exactly drug paraphernalia is:

According to 18-18-428 in the State of Colorado, “drug paraphernalia” is defined as:

“Anything that is used, intended for use, or created with the intention of being used in the manufacture, conversion, production, storage, packaging, repackaging, processing, preparation, inhalation, ingestion, or other introduction of a controlled substance into the human body in violation of state law.”

The following are items that are included in the definition of drug paraphernalia:

  • Instruments used, intended for use, or created specifically for weighing or measuring prohibited substances include scales and balances.
  • Any containers used to ingest, inhale or introduce drug substances such as cocaine, marijuana, hashish, or hashish oil into the human body. Containers made from wood, acrylic properties, metallic substances, or even plastic and either include screens or hashish heads are strictly prohibited.
  • Carburetion masks and smoking devices.
  • Sifters and separation gins used to extract seedlings and chaff from marijuana with the intention to clean and purify the substance.
  • Items used to package controlled substances into smaller packages such as balloons, envelopes, capsules, and other containers that are designed in a similar fashion.
  • Mixing devices that are used to compound and multiply drug substances such as spoons, containers, blenders, and mixing bowls.
  • Materials that are used to hold in place drug substances while in use such as roach clips. For example, a roach clip is used when marijuana becomes too small to hold between two fingers.
  • Water pipes
  • Electric pipes
  • Spoons and vials that are used to hold and push cocaine into one’s body.

In Colorado, the district attorney is in a position to prosecute if any of the materials mentioned above are found in possession of an individual with the intention to store, manufacture, or abuse drugs in any manner. The nature of drug substances in question does not matter according to schedules I to V of the regulations.

Exemption From Prosecution

However, there are situations where you may be exempt from being prosecuted. Here are some of the examples:

  • Hypodermic Needles

In the event that you are stopped by a law enforcement officer in the state of Colorado, or by emergency medical officers, they may ask you whether you are in possession of hypodermic syringes or needles on your person. Disclosing this information will help you avoid conviction or charges for any residual drug substances contained in the needles prior to being searched, assessed, or undergoing treatment.

  • Good Faith Exemption

In the event of a drug-related emergency or alcohol overdose, any individual who reports this case willingly to law enforcement is spared from being charged with possession or intent to use drug paraphernalia.

The catch here is that you must remain within the scene of the emergency until law enforcement or emergency responders arrive. This is an exception enshrined in the Good Faith Law, CRS 18-1-711 of the Colorado laws.

So what if you actually get caught in possession of drug paraphernalia?

Surprisingly, you will only be charged a measly $100 fine by the state. It may seem like a small penalty, but remember that drug paraphernalia attracts criminal charges and will have a serious impact on your criminal record in the future.


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