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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27752
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Is there a law against owning a tablet press for creating

Customer Question

Is there a law against owning a tablet press for creating non controlled substance tablets in the US. Are there any reporting requirements for owning one?
JA: In what state did this occur?
Customer: Maine but particularly interested in Federal
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no I just purchased one to make caffeine tablets for myself and the dea showed up at my door step I am about to most likely
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.


I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

Yes, there is a law having to do with tablet presses.

Pill presses are not illegal per se. However, the DEA is very concerned about the proliferation of counterfeit drugs being sold, all of which require pill presses, readily available online, particularly from China. As a result, they are regulating the importing of pill presses and considering them contraband unless you have a DEA number. You can read an article about this here.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Is this something I can be legally charged for possessing if I am not doing anything illegal with it?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
To clarify I am talking about a hand held tablet press that is not powered.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

Theoretically, they could charge you with possession of drug paraphernalia, which is a misdemeanor, but like pipes and cigarette paper, there are legitimate uses for pill presses as well.

Did the DEA confiscate the press? How was the matter left?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
They came and talked to me. I told them what I used it for and they said they wouldn't be coming back. I know law enforcement doesn't' always tell the truth though.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
All I did was press caffeine tablets and make alka seltzer tablets with it
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

No, they don't always tell the truth. However, the DEA is probably not lying that they won't be back. You're not involved in any enterprise meriting Federal attention.

Worst case scenario is that they turn the matter over to state authorities, who can get a warrant and search for signs of illicit drugs/drug manufacturing or who could charge you with misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Is there a registration requirement I didnt know about?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
can they do that if i have nothing illegal? is there any law against disposing of it at this point?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

There is a registration requirement to import them. You could not get a DEA number, because you wouldn't qualify for one. Pill presses are technically drug paraphernalia because they can be used in illegal drug manufacturing, but as I have said, like many other types of things we could have in our households, they have legal uses as well.

Although I gave you the worst case scenario, I frankly doubt anything will come of this. There's no law against disposing of it, but if the DEA let you keep it, they're clearly not concerned with your possession of it. It's a hand-held press and not something you'd use for illegal drug manufacturing.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.