Is a Pipe Considered Drug Paraphernalia if Used for Medical Marijuana?

Iowa law defines “drug paraphernalia” to include equipment used to inhale a controlled substance.  However, the definition excepts those items used in combination with the lawful use of a controlled substance.

How should the law treat smoking accessories used to inhale “medical cannabidiol” or the out-of-state equivalent?

We put this question to the test recently in a case in North Iowa. 

The State charged our client with possession of drug paraphernalia for a marijuana pipe found in the passenger compartment of his car.  Law enforcement also uncovered cannabis flower, which our client obtained with a valid out-of-state medical card.

Medical marijuana is not a controlled substance under Chapter 124.  Even if the court considered it a controlled substance because of the presence of THC, its use is lawful in Iowa.  Either way, the pipe is not drug paraphernalia.

The district court agreed and dismissed the paraphernalia charge.

So, if you or anyone you know is charged with unlawful possession of medical marijuana pipes or vape pens, then call the drug crime attorneys at GRL Law.  We take pride in getting results with innovative defenses like this.