Individuals in Minnesota and throughout the country may be charged with a crime if they are found in possession of drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia can include small spoons, water pipes or traditional pipes that are made from glass, wood or other materials. Bongs and other items that may be used to smoke marijuana may be legal in states that allow recreational or medical marijuana use. However, those items may still be illegal to use or possess under federal law.
The penalties for being in possession of drug paraphernalia are generally less severe than those for being in possession of controlled substances themselves. Those who are facing federal drug paraphernalia possession charges may spend up to three years in jail and pay a fine. Individuals who are convicted of such a charge on the state level will likely spend 30 to 90 days in jail.
Penalties may be increased if a person attempts to sell a bong, pipe or other banned items to a minor. In addition to banning the possession of paraphernalia, federal law prohibits individuals from transporting these items across state lines or importing them from other countries. If authorities find evidence that a pipe or bong has been used recently, an individual may face a state or federal drug paraphernalia charge.
Those who have been charged with drug crimes may spend time in jail, pay a fine or face other penalties. An attorney may be able to help an individual avoid some or all of those penalties. This may be done by asserting that a person was not using a scale or spoon for illegal purposes. A legal professional may also contend that a person did not know that he or she was in possession of an item when it was found by police.