Georgia law does not limit drug prohibitions to only controlled substances. The law also forbids you from possessing property known as drug paraphernalia. If convicted of having one or more kinds of paraphernalia, you could serve time in prison and pay fines.
Like other states, Georgia has its own laws on the books that define drug paraphernalia. Learning more about drug-related devices may help you to avoid legal situations where law enforcement charges you with possessing these items.
The design and purpose of paraphernalia
According to Georgia Code 16-13-32, the law defines drug paraphernalia by whether a party designs and markets it for one or more purposes that involve drugs. Some of these functions include the following:
- Growing and cultivating drugs
- Analyzing and processing drugs
- Testing the strength or purity of drugs
- Packaging or concealing drugs
Other forms of paraphernalia deliver drugs into the human body. Syringes and water pipes are two devices that people use for this purpose. Anything used to inject, inhale, ingest or otherwise introduce drugs into the body may qualify as paraphernalia.
Knowledge of paraphernalia
State law also dictates that your knowledge of whether an item is paraphernalia or not will be a factor. You must have actual or constructive knowledge that an item or device has a drug related nature. The law says a person has constructive knowledge by knowing facts that would notify a reasonable and prudent person about the item’s drug related nature.
Keep in mind that some paraphernalia has lawful purposes. For instance, while people may use spoons to ingest cocaine, spoons also have many legal uses. Law enforcement may need other evidence, such as the presence of nearby drugs, in order to demonstrate that an item is truly paraphernalia.