Posted by Meital Manzuri, Esq. | Jan 20, 2017 | 7 Comments
As the California legal marijuana marketplace grows, both sellers and consumers are increasingly wondering if it is possible to legally mail marijuana within the United States. The answer is a simple and resounding no. Importantly, this holds true regardless of whether the shipment origin or destination have laws legalizing marijuana. Let’s understand why.
Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, cannabis is a Schedule I drug. Schedule 1 controlled substances are those which, in the opinion of the United States government have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use.
And when it comes to our country’s mail delivery services, federal law trumps all other laws of the land. As a result, mailing marijuana is illegal across all modes of mail delivery. This includes private carriers such as FedEx and UPS as well as the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Marijuana and the United States Postal Service
Because the USPS is a federal government agency, it must strictly obey federal guidelines. Using the United States Postal Service to mail weed — even within the territorial limits of California (a pot-legal state) — is a felony under 18 U.S. Code 1716.
However, as U.S. postal workers are federal government employees, they need a warrant based on probable cause in order to search a package for drugs. According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, “first class letters and parcels are protected against search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, and as such, cannot be opened without a search warrant.”
Since the USPS offers some protection against search and seizure, it can understandably seem to be the safest way to ship marijuana. However, if a package seems suspicious, the USPS can get a search warrant. While this might seem like an acceptable risk, the punishment for mailing drugs through the U.S. mail can include up to a year in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Using UPS or FedEx to Ship Marijuana
Using Third-Party Carriers
Unlike the USPS, private third-party carriers – such as UPS, FedEx and DHL – are not federal agencies. As such, they do not even have to obtain a warrant to search a suspicious package.
Indeed, the Supreme Court has ruled that giving your package to a third-party “removes any reasonable expectation of privacy.” This means that private carriers have the right to open and inspect any package at their own discretion.
Furthermore, large private carriers have affirmed over and over again their willingness to cooperate with federal law enforcement in cracking down on illegal drug trafficking via mail.
For example, in 2014 FedEx was indicted for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances by transporting illegal painkillers and other prescription drugs. And in 2013, UPS paid $40 million to settle a federal probe into shipping drugs from illegal online pharmacies. Though neither of these cases involved cannabis, it shows how big the incentive is for private carriers such as UPS and FedEx to monitor packages for illegal drugs.
Risks of Shipping Weed by Mail
There risks of mailing marijuana are significant. For one thing, you can be charged under either federal law or the law of the state in which the cannabis shipment originated or the state to which it was delivered. Furthermore, charges will be compounded for interstate trafficking as well as based on the quantity of the marijuana. And under federal guidelines, mailing as little as 50 grams or less of marijuana can land in the federal penitentiary for up to five years.
Worsening matters, USPS and private carriers’ employees are offered a “reward” of up to $50,000 for information leading to convictions of persons mailing illegal substances. Even if you are only the recipient of the package, if you knowingly receive marijuana in the mail, your participation in the shipment is enough for you to be charged with conspiracy to distribute an illegal substance.
In sum, postal services are not drug mules. With the rise in the number of states legalizing marijuana, the DEA is now more than ever keeping a close eye on the shipment of packages across the country.
Yes — it is possible to transport your marijuana via mail. It happens every day and people get away with it. But remember, you’re playing the odds. The best advice we can give our clients is not to use the mail to ship your pot. At the very least, mail no more than 28 grams – California’s limit on recreational marijuana possession – and only within the borders of California.
Disclaimer: This article has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice.
Legally-Blunt Posted by Meital Manzuri, Esq. | Jan 20, 2017 | 7 Comments As the California legal marijuana marketplace grows, both sellers and consumers are increasingly wondering if it is
International Shipping And Marijuana — What Should You Know?
International Shipping And Marijuana — What Should You Know?
This is a guest post by Mary Walton
Marijuana products have long been used for medical treatments. But marijuana is not legal in all countries, whereas some states made it legal. Because of the legal regulations in different countries, which prohibit the use of illegal marijuana, a lot of people frown at the possibility of shipping marijuana products abroad.
We can’t blame people, given the fact that the information on this matter is scarce and there is still a lot of confusion on whether it is legal or not to ship marijuana products abroad. A distinction needs to be drawn between the marijuana used for its psychoactive effects from medical marijuana.
Shipping Marijuana Internationally
You can ship marijuana internationally. But you need to follow a lot of rules. You can ship your cannabis products through courier services to abroad. If you bought a product containing medical cannabis and you are looking for a way to ship them to your home in other countries, then courier service might be the right solution for you. As long as the product you are buying is commercially available and not prohibited, there is nothing suspicious in shipping marijuana products abroad.
To be on the safe side, you have to make sure that you know everything about the national laws thoroughly before mailing marijuana products. Check if a certain authorization or a medical prescription needed to ship cannabis products. You should also keep in mind that some countries forbid the shipping of medical prescriptions themselves. Before shipping, take into account the following:
- You should not decide to ship marijuana for recreational purposes. Moreover, remember that no country authorizes the smoking of marijuana for medical purposes. In EU countries, production, distribution and use of marijuana are strictly prohibited. They don’t support weed as they know it’s a bit difficult to detox from weed .
- You must find out about which marijuana-based medicines and CBD products are authorized in the EU countries.
- Check if any certain documentation is needed when shipping CBD products or legal marijuana products.
- Don’t forget to ask courier company about the best packaging practices.
Packaging Materials For Shipping Marijuana Products
There is no single rule for packaging. It actually depends on what type of marijuana products you are shipping and the type of courier service you are using. The following suggestions may apply mainly to legal marijuana products because of shipping prescription drugs require certain cautions.
- Cardboard Boxes:You should ship your products in cardboard boxes. Try to find a box without tear or dents and new.
- Bubble Wrap: This gives you better protection in case you are shipping flacons of marijuana-based products.
- Plastic Sealed Bags: This will give your product protection against dirt, possible leakage, and humidity.
- Packing Peanuts: You should use this to fill in the empty space left in the box.
- Adhesive Tape and Scissors: After doing the packing this will help you to seal the package.
When shipping marijuana products, you should check the transportation conditions. Whether it is good or bad. You also have to keep in mind that the quality of the product may be altered if the transit times are long and if they are exposed to temperature fluctuations. You should select a shipping service which can provide special transportation.
When you are shipping weed internationally your product has to go through customs. You need to take a lot of precautions if you want to ship marijuana safely. The real world is not very easy. Shipping illegal marijuana is a federal crime. Federals don’t always abide by the constitution or respect state laws or individual rights when it comes to shipping marijuana. You can still get caught and they can seize your packages. You can get into the various type of troubles such as arrest or the freezing of bank accounts.
In addition, federals and other law enforcement have upgraded their drug detection systems. They use x-ray scanner to detect marijuana. They also use drug-sniffing dogs to detect odors emitting from packages, containers, and plastic bags. A dog’s sense of smell is as much as 100 times more sensitive than ours. You should use airtight bags that zip tight. New marijuana delivery companies are appearing with the legalization of marijuana.
Basic Don’ts Of Shipping Marijuana
You should avoid a few things to successfully ship marijuana:
- Don’t use previous packages or careless wrappings
- Remember to mask the smell
- You should spell names or addresses correctly
- Don’t write false return addresses and nonexistent zip codes
- Never heavily tape the package
- Don’t use excess markings on the package
- Avoid restrictive markings such as confidential, do not x-ray
- Don’t use a common type of sender or receiver (like John Smith)
Legal medical and recreational marijuana marketplace continues to grow day by day. So, shipping marijuana internationally is becoming more popular. But don’t be fooled, be careful about shipping marijuana. Keep in mind all the rules and restrictions before thinking about marijuana shipping.
This was a guest post by Mary Walton.
Mary Walton is a professional editor, content strategist, and a part of NCSM team. Apart from writing, Mary is passionate about hiking and gaming. Feel free to contact her via Facebook .
The trend of marijuana legalization opens opportunity for shipping cannabis products internationally, but what do you need to know in order to ship marijuana?