Under a new bill headed to Governor Jack Dalrymple's desk, charges for possessing drug paraphernalia could be lowered.

According to InForum, possession of drug paraphernalia is currently a Class C felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Whether the paraphernalia is used for manufacturing or ingesting/inhaling, the charge is the same.

The one exception is for marijuana paraphernalia possession, which is a Class A misdemeanor and only carries a penalty of up to a year in jail or a $3,000 fine.

If Senate Bill 2030 were to pass, first-offense charges would be reduced to a Class A misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia that's used to ingest substances like methamphetamine or cocaine. A felony charge would still be in place for repeat offenders.

Lowering the felony paraphernalia charge to a misdemeanor for first time offenders will allow them to keep the felony off their record, if they plead down.

Governor Dalrymple still has to sign the bill. If he does, the changes wouldn't take effect until August 1st.

[InForum]