With new laws regarding marijuana passed in recent years, it is difficult to know what is legal and what is not legal, especially in regards to instruments used to smoke marijuana. Though there are several different apparatuses to consume marijuana, glass bongs are a common one of these instruments. In regards to if glass bongs are legal, in short, glass bongs are legal to have and carry if they are not used for illegal substances.
Many smoke or other shops that sell glass bongs have the disclaimer that these bongs are for tobacco use only to get around laws. Glass bongs, however, are commonly known to be used to smoke marijuana, and although many states have legalized marijuana, it is still illegal on the federal level to have, use, and sell marijuana. Not only is marijuana illegal on a federal level, drug paraphernalia is also illegal. Drug paraphernalia are considered to be anything that is used to make, hide, or consume illegal drugs, and federal law states specifically that one cannot sell, import or export, and distribute drug paraphernalia. Technically, therefore, someone can be arrested for the possession of drug paraphernalia, and this includes glass bongs.
Typically, however, most people who have glass bongs will get in trouble for having them with illegal drug residue. Since there is a fine line between legal instruments—like the bongs sold for “tobacco use only”—and illegal equipment used for drugs, a clean glass bong with no illegal drug residue could be deemed legal, but it depends on the situation. Those enforcing the law may consider the other factors and circumstantial evidence to determine if the piece of equipment in question is considered drug paraphernalia. Each case is different, so it is important to be aware of specific state laws regarding drug use because, like stated above, many states have legalized marijuana with different stipulations. In addition, different states also can have slightly different laws against drug paraphernalia.
When carrying a glass bond, besides paying attention to any illegal drug residue that may be present on the equipment, be especially cognizant of where you are traveling with it. Citizens must abide by the laws of the state they are in, so crossing state lines with a glass bong into a state where marijuana is still not legal may hold greater consequences than crossing into a state where it is legal. Furthermore, if traveling by air, the Transportation Security Administration can report drug paraphernalia to the local and relevant authorities. Though TSA does not actively look for drugs or drug paraphernalia, it can still cause problems for the owner if they do find something on their routine searches.
Overall, the legality of glass bongs and the consequences of possessing them depend on where the owner is and if there is drug residue on the bong. When in states that still classify marijuana as illegal, drug-free bongs will be easier to claim that they are used for the legal use of tobacco than those with drug residue.
With all the new legislation about marijuana hitting many of today’s largest states, it’s natural to wonder the dos and don’ts of smoking. Responsible smokers are citizens just like anyone else and they want to follow the law even while engaging in behavior that is still illegal in some places. If you carry glass bongs with you when you travel, here’s a short primer on the do’s and don’ts.
A bong in general is an apparatus that people use to smoke herbal mixtures. You can use a bong to smoke a legal substance like tobacco or a tobacco mixture or you can use a bong to smoke something illegal in some states: Marijuana. It’s common sense that a glass bong is a bong made out of glass. People prefer the glass body for many reasons. First of all, the glass is incredibly durable and reliable time and time again. Glass bongs are sometimes easier to clean than other types of bongs. It’s natural for some people to gravitate toward them when smoking mixtures. The question is, can you carry one with you without falling on the wrong side of the law?
This question is answered by your state’s laws about drug paraphernalia. The majority of states DO consider glass bongs to be drug paraphernalia because the glass bong itself can be used to ingest drugs like marijuana. Carrying one with you COULD result in drug paraphernalia charges, however unfair that may seem. Some would argue that you could simply tell officers that you use a glass bong to ingest a legal substance like tobacco, but because of the majority of users finding glass bongs desirable for marijuana, you still might face charges. A good lawyer will be able to argue your side.
It is up to the officer as to whether or not to arrest you for drug paraphenalia charges. They COULD arrest you. Some of it will depend on whether they find residue on your bong. If there’s any type of residue in there, there’s good reason for the officers to suspect that you’ve been using the glass bong in the commission of a crime (smoking marijuana in places where marijuana or other substances are illegal). For this reason, many lawyers recommend that you don’t travel with a glass bong, especially if you’re going to be carrying it with you in a number of different public locations or your car out in the open. This doesn’t mean that you will always face charges. If no residue is found, you might get off with a warning.
Given the nationwide push for legalization of marijuana, it can seem unfair for states to ask you not to carry something with you that could be used for something that’s completely legal in a year or two. However, lawyers are here to keep you on the right side of the law. Make sure that you follow your state’s laws on having drug paraphernalia with you. Remember that even alcohol containers can get some people arrested, despite the fact that it’s legal. Most people concur that they don’t want to see certain things in public places. Always make sure that you follow the law and try to keep your glass bongs at home.
If you are charged with this type of crime, a good lawyer may be able to get you out of the situation IF there were no drugs found at the scene. In some instances, they can get the case thrown out if it’s a first charged or the charges reduced if you’re attempting to do better. Call a lawyer immediately if charged.
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