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Is it a crime to give someone drug paraphernalia?

Imagine that two friends are celebrating a birthday. One friend lives in Colorado where recreational marijuana is legal. The other friend lives in Florida, where recreational weed is still against the law. Both friends enjoy smoking pot, but in the case of the Florida friend, he is breaking the law every time he smokes.

Nevertheless, the friend in Colorado wants to send him his favorite glass bong. Is it illegal to send the bong through the mail as a gift?

Since this gift will be sent through the U.S. mail system, it would fall under the jurisdiction of federal law. So what are the federal laws that pertain to gifting drug paraphernalia? Essentially, the following is illegal:

  • Selling drug paraphernalia or offer drug paraphernalia for sale
  • Using the mail system to transport drug paraphernalia
  • Importing or exporting paraphernalia.

You might notice that there's no mention of gifting paraphernalia or possessing paraphernalia here. However, the transportation of paraphernalia through the mail is clearly illegal, so a Colorado resident could find him or herself facing charges for mailing (a.k.a. transporting) paraphernalia.

Even if a Colorado resident's mailing isn't discovered, the friend who receives that package will be breaking the law as soon as the paraphernalia is in his or her possession. That could mean the need to seek help with a proper criminal defense against charges.

Always consider the potential criminal consequences for yourself and others before buying, mailing or gifting marijuana-related paraphernalia to another state. It could save you and your loved one's a great deal of difficulty.

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