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Is it a crime to use model glue as an inhalant?

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2023 | Drug Crimes |

When it comes to scale model building, nothing is as indispensable as model glue. It’s used to not only join parts together but also repair any broken pieces.

But model glue also has an infamous secondary use – as an inhalant. Sniffing model glue can induce a high much like an illegal controlled substance. But unlike prohibited drugs, anyone can purchase model glue from a hobby or hardware store without issue.

Model glue isn’t illegal by itself, but it’s a crime to sniff glue in Tennessee.

Using, possessing and selling inhalants are illegal

Per state law, it’s illegal for anyone to intentionally smell the fumes of any glue, paint, gasoline, aerosol, or any other substance with a solvent intending to cause an intoxicating effect. Similarly, Tennessee law also prohibits anyone from possessing any glue containing a solvent that releases toxic fumes. A violation of these rules is a Class A misdemeanor.

It’s also against the law to sell, offer to sell, deliver or give away any tube or container of a potential inhalant to another, especially if the person has reasonable cause to suspect that the recipient of the substance will use it as an inhalant. This offense is a Class E felony.

The penalties for inhalant use

If a court convicts a person of using or possessing an inhalant, the convicted faces up to 11 months and 29 days of jail time and $2,500 in fines.

However, a person convicted of selling or offering inhalants faces up to six years of prison time and $3,000 in fines.

Model glue is for building scale models and miniatures. Attempting to use the substance as an inhalant can lead to fines and jail time – even a felony conviction if the person is caught offering it to another.