In Arizona, drug paraphernalia is a broad term used to describe a vast array of objects that can be used for growing, harvesting, manufacturing, testing, storing, containing, or concealing an illegal drug or used for injecting, or ingesting an illegal drug into the human body.
There is no requirement that the object contains any kind of drug residue and under A.R.S. 13-3415 it is a Class 6 felony to use, deliver, manufacture, or possess with the intent to use or deliver drug paraphernalia, or to advertise it for sale.
One exception to the law concerns medical marijuana. It is legal to possess paraphernalia that is used in connection with a legal use of a legal form of medical marijuana.
What items could be considered drug paraphernalia?
The statute gives some examples of items that are considered drug paraphernalia if the item is used as drug paraphernalia, intended for such use, or designed for such a use:
- Growing and planting kits
- Manufacturing kits.
- Devices for use in increasing the potency of a drug
- Testing equipment for analyzing drugs
- Scales and balances
- Diluents and adulterants for use in cutting drugs.
- Separation gins and sifters for cleaning marijuana
- Blenders, bowls, containers, spoons and mixing devices
- Capsules, balloons, envelopes and other containers
- Containers and other objects for storing or concealing drugs.
- Hypodermic syringes, needles and other objects for use in parenterally injecting drugs into the human body.
- Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic or ceramic pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads or punctured metal bowls.
- Water pipes.
- Carburetion tubes and devices.
- Smoking and carburetion masks.
- Roach clips, meaning objects used to hold burning material, such as a marijuana cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand.
- Miniature cocaine spoons and cocaine vials.
- Chamber pipes.
- Carburetor pipes.
- Electric pipes.
- Air-driven pipes.
- Ice pipes or chillers.
Some of the items listed above could have both legal and illegal uses, but there are a variety of means, listed in the statute, by which drug paraphernalia can be identified, especially if the item also has a legal use:
- Statements by an owner or by anyone in control of the object concerning its use.
- Prior convictions, if any, of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, under any state or federal law relating to any drug.
- The proximity of the object, in time and space, to a direct violation of drug laws
- The proximity of the object to drugs.
- The existence of any residue of drugs on the object.
- Direct or circumstantial evidence of the intent of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, to deliver it to persons whom he knows, or should reasonably know, intend to use the object to facilitate illegal drug use
- Instructions, oral or written, provided with the object concerning its use.
- Descriptive materials accompanying the object that explain or depict its use.
- National and local advertising concerning its use.
- The existence and scope of legitimate uses for the object in the community.
- Expert testimony concerning its use.
As you can see, the possibilities are seemingly endless!
To those familiar with the rules of evidence, it may seem odd that someone’s prior convictions relating to drugs can be used as evidence that an object’s intended use is drug paraphernalia, but Arizona courts have upheld this part of the law.
Additionally, pretty much anything that already contains drugs can be considered drug paraphernalia, because of the proximity of the object to the drugs, even if the object has a routine use that is not related to drug use. Surprisingly, these types of incidents can result in two felonies; one for possession of the drug and one for possession of the paraphernalia. Some examples include zip-lock bags, condoms, travel toothbrush containers, film containers, and even a paper receipt with drugs inside.
If you are facing charges related to drug paraphernalia, the consequences could be very serious. A felony conviction of any kind can have a devastating impact on your future and drug-related felonies can result in other particularly harsh collateral consequences as well. For those with a criminal history, a felony drug paraphernalia conviction could result in prison sentences of several years or could add years on to a sentence for drug possession. A criminal defense attorney could help to mitigate these consequences and can evaluate whether there are defenses to the charge which may be applicable to your specific case.