What does Florida law say about drug paraphernalia?

Possessing heroin or cocaine is not the only way to run afoul of Florida’s drug laws. Law enforcement could also arrest you if you have an item the law calls drug paraphernalia. Many people may not know that possessing one or more of these items could result in fines or jail time. 

Drug paraphernalia refers to materials or devices that people use to produce or ingest drugs. A bong or a water pipe is paraphernalia when a person uses it to smoke cannabis. So if you want to avoid arrest in Florida, it may help to know what the state defines as drug paraphernalia. 

The definition of paraphernalia

State law does not name specific devices as paraphernalia. Instead, the law defines paraphernalia by function. If you grew illegal drugs, the devices you used to plant, cultivate and harvest the drugs would be paraphernalia. Anything you use to prepare or process drugs is also paraphernalia. Since state law also criminalizes the storing or concealment of drugs, the police might look upon packaging material as paraphernalia if you intended to use it to contain heroin or meth. 

The delivery of paraphernalia

A Florida prosecutor may also charge you if you deliver paraphernalia to another person even though you had no part in using it for producing or using drugs. The key is whether you knew the person was going to use the delivered items as paraphernalia. If you could not have reasonably known about the illegal use, you have a defense against possession charges. 

In addition, the law may charge you with a crime for selling or advertising paraphernalia. Once again, these charges depend upon your knowledge that you are selling or advertising items intended for illegal drug use. Since some items used with drugs also have legitimate uses, law enforcement has the burden to prove the items in question were clearly paraphernalia.