With the holidays here and the pandemic in full swing, you might be using the post office a lot more. It’s a very useful and safe service, but there are inherent dangers to what is considered by the government to be “misuse” of our national parcel system. Mailing marijuana is nothing new, people have been doing it for longer than most of us have been alive and that probably isn’t going to change any time soon. There are certain facts that everyone should be aware of before they ever consider sending (or receiving) any buds to their buds, even if you have your medical card.
The most critical thing to know is that the US government hasn’t legalized pot on a federal level (YET). This is important to note, because the US Postal Service is an agency of, you guessed it, the US government. Therefore, using their service to transport a substance that they still consider to be illegal is unfortunately punishable by federal law. This is something that we obviously do not want, but let’s continue to look at another aspect of this.
If you’re mailing to another state, further complications may arise. Currently there are 35 states which have legalized for medical purposes, including 4 of 5 US territories and Washington DC. Fifteen of these have obtained full legalization (recreational), and there are 13 other states which have “semi-legalized”, with laws that limit the THC content. Considering these wildly different policies, the things that are okay in OK may not be so elsewhere and the laws of these states can get involved. This is another thing that we do not want, so let’s continue to see what else might be a problem here.
Some of you may remember the Silk Road, The online black market site that specialized in the sale of illegal drugs. After the site was seized by the FBI in 2013, the government went on high alert when they found out how their own services were being used to transport substances they found to be illegal. Not only the US Postal Service, but also private carriers, were offered a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the conviction of any and all drug traffickers. Pretty serious stuff, right? Through the use of drug-sniffing dogs, postal inspectors seized over 34,000 pounds of marijuana in 2015 alone.
So, what are the consequences to getting caught? Well, not only the sender but the receiving party are held responsible when this happens. Federal law decrees that even the most minimal offenders can get up to five years of jail time with a fine of $250,000. Things get substantially worse when you send in bulk, and there are also state laws to account for, so be very careful with this.
All of this points to the notion that it isn’t in your best interests to do this (for now). Until we have legalization on a federal level, they will continue to bring down the hammer on us. Keep your MMJ card handy, but know that it isn’t always bulletproof. Maybe bringing grandma those CBD brownies in person is the safer thing to do here.