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Paraphernalia can lead to drug charges in New Jersey

Several American states have now legalized to some degree the possession of marijuana. While New Jersey is not one of these states, many residents believe that the more liberalized marijuana views nationwide mean they will not get into legal trouble over paraphernalia. You should understand that this is not the case. In New Jersey, you could face both federal and state drug charges over paraphernalia.

Drug paraphernalia is typically separated into two categories: items used to distribute drugs and items used to ingest drugs. Paraphernalia used for ingesting drugs includes items like pipes, bongs, roach clips and cocaine kits. As for distribution, items like scales and even plastic bags could be considered paraphernalia in the right context.

Under federal law it is illegal to:

-- Sell or attempt to sell paraphernalia for drugs

-- Mail or transport drug paraphernalia across state lines

-- Import or export paraphernalia

New Jersey has its own laws associated with drug paraphernalia, many of them resulting in serious penalties. Here is a brief outline of the state's paraphernalia laws.

-- Possessing or using drug paraphernalia can mean up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines

-- Selling paraphernalia can lead to 18 months of jail time and a fine of up to $10,000

-- Selling drug paraphernalia to minors can mean 3-5 years of imprisonment and up to $25,000 in fines

-- Advertising the sale of drug paraphernalia could result in up to 18 months of jail time and fines of up to $10,000

To sum up, just because the nation is loosening its views on drugs like marijuana does not mean you are immune to drug charges stemming from paraphernalia. If you are already facing such charges, consulting with a defense attorney could mean avoiding conviction or a reduction of charges.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Paraphernalia Charges," accessed April 05, 2016

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