Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Health & Safety Code 11364(a) is the California statute that makes it illegal to possess drug paraphernalia. It’s a misdemeanor offense. HS11364 applies to any device, instrument or paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting, smoking or otherwise consuming a controlled substance. These can be meth pipes, cocaine or heroine spoons and other such devices.

Since legalization of marijuana for recreational use and for prevention of HIV diseases, syringes, weed pipes and vapes are not considered drug paraphernalia.

What Prosecutor Needs to Prove:

      • You exercised control over the paraphernalia or had constructive possession over it,
      • You knew of the paraphernalia’s presence, and
      • You knew it was drug paraphernalia.


      • What was found wasn’t drug paraphernalia
      • The paraphernalia wasn’t yours,
      • You didn’t know that the item was a drug paraphernalia, and/or
      • The officer discovered the paraphernalia during an illegal search and seizure


      • Up to $1000 fine
      • Up to 6 months in county jail
      • Possible Immigration Consequences
      • Possible loss of government Assistance Programs or Disqualification from such programs


(a) It is unlawful to possess an opium pipe or any device, contrivance, instrument, or paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting or smoking (1) a controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), or (e) or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 11055, or (2) a controlled substance that is a narcotic drug classified in Schedule III, IV, or V.

(b) This section shall not apply to hypodermic needles or syringes that have been containerized for safe disposal in a container that meets state and federal standards for disposal of sharps waste.

(c) Until January 1, 2026, as a public health measure intended to prevent the transmission of HIV, viral hepatitis, and other bloodborne diseases among persons who use syringes and hypodermic needles, and to prevent subsequent infection of sexual partners, newborn children, or other persons, this section shall not apply to the possession solely for personal use of hypodermic needles or syringes.

(Amended by Stats. 2020, Ch. 274, Sec. 4. (AB 2077) Effective January 1, 2021.)

The information within this website is NOT LEGAL ADVICE but merely meant to be general information. Nothing in this website, nor filling out any forms on this website, shall constitute an attorney-client relationship.

Privacy Policy

Copyright 2023, Azami Law.  All Rights Reserved

Law Office of Wais Azami
Scroll to top