If you are not familiar with drug paraphernalia, you may wonder what makes it unlawful to use. According to Texas law, a person has to intend to use drug paraphernalia for purposes that are specified to be illegal. State law identifies three general functions that can render paraphernalia unlawful to use and may subject the user to criminal charges.

First, paraphernalia cannot be used to grow illegal controlled substances. Some drugs originate from vegetation, such as cannabis plants, which are used to create marijuana. Texas law is clear that if a person possesses or distributes devices specifically intended to plant, cultivate or grow illegal substances, state law may charge that individual with a crime.

Secondly, illegal paraphernalia is employed to manufacture, process or otherwise refine illegal drugs. These activities can involve measuring drugs, mixing them with other substances for added potency, or testing the drugs for whatever effect the user desires. Whatever the intended goal, state law will prosecute a person for intending to use devices in these forbidden ways.

Finally, Texas law forbids paraphernalia that provides a containing vessel for illegal drugs. A person can be prosecuted for repackaging illicit substances in new containers or trying to store them for a long period of time. Someone can also be charged for trying to conceal or hide the drugs in a secret or misleading location.

Drug paraphernalia can cultivate illegal drugs and make harmful drugs even deadlier, which is why the law takes possession of paraphernalia very seriously. However, if you possess a device that has lawful use and you never planned to use it for illicit purposes, you should consider consulting legal representation if the police claim you intended otherwise. Keep in mind that this article is written for educational purposes and not as legal advice.