TITLE OF BILL:
to amend the penal law, in relation to criminally using drug
paraphernalia in the second degree
To make it a crime to knowingly possess or sell drug paraphernalia for
the purpose of using an illegal controlled substance or knowing that
another person intends to use an illegal controlled substance, even
though no trace of a controlled substance exists at the time the drug
paraphernalia is found.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Amends Section 220.50 of the penal law by adding a new subdivision to
include within the crime of criminally using drug paraphernalia in
the second degree, a class A misdemeanor, the knowing possession or
sale of objects including, but not limited to: pipes with or without
screens, glass tubing, pipe screens, steel wool, or miniature spoons,
capable for use in ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into
the human body, a controlled substance, possession of which is
unlawful under this chapter, under circumstances evincing an intent
to use, or under circumstances evincing knowledge that some person
intends to use the same, unlawfully.
Section 220.50 of the Penal Law currently criminalizes items used to
package and prepare controlled substances (e.g., vials, capsules,
scales, balances). The statute recognizes the various means utilized
to retail controlled substances and provides an additional method
whereby those engaged in such illegal activity may be held
accountable even if there is no additional evidence of possession or
sale of a controlled substance at the time the drug paraphernalia is
found. The paraphernalia used to actually take the illegal drug
should be no exception.
Under current law, possessing drug paraphernalia such as a crack pipe
is only illegal if controlled substance residue is found on the item
and is punishable by the crime of criminal possession of a controlled
substance in the seventh degree.
Items such as miniature spoons, glass tubing and steel wool, either
alone or in combination, are commonly used as drug paraphernalia. A
"Rose Tube," sold in many convenience stores and often displayed
brazenly at the front counter, is glass tubing containing a novelty
item such as a miniature rose. Although marketed as a novelty gift
item, it is commonly used as a crack cocaine pipe. Drug users remove
insert a piece of wiry sponge or a scouring pad as a filter, and use
it to smoke crack cocaine.
This bill criminalizes the knowing possession or sale of such drug
paraphernalia for the purpose of using an illegal controlled
substance or knowing that another person intends to use an illegal
controlled substance, even though no trace of a controlled substance
exists at the time the drug paraphernalia is found.
Since so-called drug paraphernalia may have legitimate uses and
therefore possession of such items, per se, cannot be made criminal,
the bill defines the crime to include both possession of the
paraphernalia and a culpable mental state which, if proved, precludes
the possibility of innocent possession of the paraphernalia.
2008 Referred to Codes
This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding
the date on which it shall have become a law.