The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a marijuana grinder found in a man’s car does not fall within the “paraphernalia” section of the law. The misdemeanor conviction of Devon Granger was overturned. The grinder proved insufficient as a delivery vehicle to put marijuana into Granger’s body.
Indiana Code section 35-48-4-8.3(b)(1) says that items used to prepare a drug for use are not considered to be paraphernalia, according to The Indiana Lawyer. The state failed to prove that its evidence fell within the constraints of the law.
Judge Edward Najam said, “Officer Elder testified that the grinder was ‘a device to grind [marijuana] down more finely so [that the person] can consume it easier. And he agreed that the grinder was used ‘in preparation of using marijuana.’”
Judge Najam also said, “But there is a material distinction between possession of an instrument or device that can only be used to prepare a controlled substance for consumption and possession of an instrument or device that can be used to introduce a controlled substance into the body. Here, the evidence shows only that the grinder could be used to prepare marijuana for ingestion by another means, such as by a joint, a pipe, or a bong.”
The judge continued by saying, “The state’s purported ‘variance’ argument is really an argument that a different offense occurred, namely, an uncharged offense under subsection (b)(3) rather than the charged offense under subsection (b)(1). Our Supreme Court has made clear that the State may not make such arguments.”
This may prompt more appeals to previous convictions where paraphernalia and its definition could be factors.