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People in Virginia might not know that the simple act of possession of drug paraphernalia can lead to charges just as easily as possessing the drugs themselves. Even if a person was not using drugs or involved in its sale or manufacture, there can be charges linked to drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia consists of materials, products and equipment that are used for the growth, manufacture, conversion, production, testing, analysis and numerous other uses related to drugs. Those who are charged with possessing drug paraphernalia must be aware of what is included in this law.

A kit that is used to grow, harvest, cultivate, propagate or plant marijuana or a plant that is deemed a controlled substance will be found to have been in possession of drug paraphernalia. Devices that are used to increase the potency of marijuana -- known as isomerization devices -- are also considered drug paraphernalia. Testing equipment that is used to identify or analyze the strength of marijuana or other controlled substances falls into this category.

Also considered to be drug paraphernalia are -- scales and balances that are used to weigh or measure marijuana or controlled substances, diluents and adulterants to cut controlled substances, separation gins and sifters to clean or refine marijuana; blenders, spoons, containers, bowls and devices to mix compounds for controlled substances, envelopes, capsules, balloons and other items that are used to package marijuana or other controlled substances, hypodermic needles, syringes or other items use for injection of controlled substances and various objects used to use these dugs such as a water pipe, bongs, cocaine spoons, cocaine vials and similar items.

When a person is under arrest and facing charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, it is not something to dismiss as if it is a meaningless issue when compared with those who are confronted with significant drug charges. Those who are dealing with legal problems related to possessing drug paraphernalia must make sure that they formulate a legal defense to avoid penalties for a conviction. Speaking to an attorney as soon as the arrest is made is an important factor toward that end.

Source: law.lis.virginia.gov, "18.2-265.1. Definition -- Drug Paraphernalia," accessed on May 2, 2016

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