Code of the District of Columbia

§ 48–1102. Factors to be considered in determining whether object is paraphernalia.

(a) In determining whether an object is drug paraphernalia, a court or other authority shall consider, in addition to all other logically and legally relevant factors, the following factors:

(1) Statements by an owner or by anyone in control of the object concerning its use;

(2) The proximity of the object, in time and space, to a violation of § 48-1103(a) or to a controlled substance;

(3) The existence of any residue of a controlled substance on the object;

(4) Direct or circumstantial evidence of the intent of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, to deliver it to persons whom he or she knows, or should reasonably know, intends to use the object to facilitate a violation of § 48-1103(a); the innocence of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, as to a violation of § 48-1103(a) shall not prevent a finding that the object is intended for use, or designed for use as drug paraphernalia;

(5) Instructions, oral or written, provided with the object concerning its use;

(6) Descriptive materials accompanying the object which explain or depict its use;

(7) National and local advertising concerning the use of the object;

(8) The size or packaging of the object, or the manner in which it is displayed;

(9) Whether the owner, or anyone in control of the object, is a legitimate supplier of like or related items to the community, including, but not limited to, a licensed distributor or dealer of tobacco products;

(10) Direct or circumstantial evidence of the ratio of sales of the object or objects to the total sales of the business enterprise;

(11) The existence and scope of legitimate uses for the object in the community; and

(12) Expert testimony concerning its use.

(b) Where the alleged violation of the act occurred at a commercial retail or wholesale establishment, the court or other authority may infer, based upon consideration of the factors in subsection (a) of this section, that the following items are drug paraphernalia:

(1) Glassy plastic bags or zip-lock bags that measure 1 inch by 1 inch or less; or

(2) Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes, with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctuated metal bowls.


(Sept. 17, 1982, D.C. Law 4-149, § 3, 29 DCR 3369; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-213, § 2(b), 43 DCR 4990; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 227(b), 53 DCR 8610.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-602.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 48-1104.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-306 rewrote subsecs. (a)(8) and (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 227(b) of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 227(b) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 227(b) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 227(b) of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).