HS 11364 prohibits the possession of drug paraphernalia in California. It is the most commonly-charged misdemeanor offense in Orange County.
The law specifically says that it is unlawful to possess an opium pipe or any "device, contrivance, instrument or paraphernalia" used to unlawfully smoke or ingest a number of controlled substances that are listed individually in other parts of the California Health & Safety Code. That includes straws, spoons, pipes, foil, and any virtually anything else that is used to consume meth, cocaine or heroin. It does not include pipes, bongs or papers used to smoke marijuana.
Starting this year, the law includes an exception for syringes and hypodermic needles that are used solely for personal use. The exception will remain in effect until January 1, 2026. This temporary carve-out was intended to help slow the spread of blood-borne diseases like HIV that are transmitted by sharing needles.
To be convicted of violating HS 11364, the DA must prove that:
- The defendant possessed the item
- The defendant knew (or should have known) that he possessed the item
- The defendant knew that the item was drug paraphernalia
- The defendant intended to use the item to ingest illegal drugs