Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Michigan, pursuant to MCL 333.7451 and MCL 333.7455(1), is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or a fine of not more than $5,000, or both. Sale of Drug Paraphernalia by a person 18 years old or older to someone under the age of 18 years in Michigan, according to MCL 333.74511 and MCL 333.7455(2), is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or a fine of not more than $7,500, or both. These offenses are also sometimes prosecuted as local ordinance violations which are also considered to be misdemeanors. A person convicted of either Possession of Drug Paraphernalia or Sale of Drug Paraphernalia is not eligible for section 333.7411 (which is a special provision in Michigan law to have the offense not appear on a Defendant’s record). However, these offenses are eventually eligible for expungment, if the person otherwise qualifies, 5 years after the conviction is entered or incarceration ceases (whichever is later).
What is Drug Paraphernalia? Drug paraphernalia is defined under MCL 333.7451 as any equipment, product, material, or combination of equipment, products, or material, which is specifically designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance. Examples of Drug Paraphernalia include (but are not limited to): marijuana pipes, marijuana grinders, rolling papers, heroin works kits (spoon, syringe, hose, etc), cocaine kits (razor blade, mirror, etc.), snorters, scales for weighing drugs, etc.
Will I Be Prosecuted For Possessing Something That Could Be Used As Drug Paraphernalia? The law in Michigan recognizes that there are devices that have legitimate uses which can also be used as Drug Paraphernalia such as hypodermic needles, pipes, mixing devices, etc. Under MCL 333.7457 persons that sell these items for legitimate purposes are not going to be prosecuted. For the consumer or user of an item such as a hypodermic needle (that has a potentially legitimate and a potentially illicit purpose) the intent of the person who possesses the item is the key issue. For example, a diabetic who possesses a hypodermic needle to inject insulin has committed no crime. However, a hypodermic needle found with a spoon and a lighter is evidence that the intent of the possessor of those items is to use heroin and would likely be classified as Drug Paraphernalia by a police officer, city attorney and/or prosecutor. A person with rolling papers together with marijuana should be treated differently under the law in Michigan than a person with rolling papers together with regular tobacco.