Sending marijuana in the mail remains illegal under federal law. The United States Postal Service (USPS) can and will intercept your package. This could cause you to be arrested. In fact, every single year, thousands of mailed packages of marijuana are intercepted. You cannot even mail marijuana in a state where it is decriminalized or “legal.”
Pennsylvania marijuana law criminalizes possession and mailing marijuana. A violator can be charged in federal court, state court, or both. Even mailing marijuana from one location to another in a legal state can subject you to arrest and prosecution.
UPS and FedEx similarly prevent the shipping of materials that are prohibited by federal law. The biggest difference between the USPS and private couriers is that USPS has to obtain a warrant to search but FedEx and UPS (and others) do not. Private companies can simply open your envelope, box, or other package as they wish. The federal government will indict these companies as co-conspirators in the distribution of controlled substances, incentivizing them to monitor packages. Workers are offered up to $50,000 as a reward for finding and reporting those who ship marijuana.
Federal Law Prohibits Mailing Marijuana
United States federal law prohibits mailing marijuana considered a “controlled substances.” Both the shipper and the recipient can be punished. The potential federal laws you violate can include but are not limited to:
- Marijuana trafficking
- Misuse of the mail
- Mailing of injurious articles
The current charge for shipping less than 50 kilos of marijuana, is up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
Factors that influence the severity of the charges and resulting punishment include:
- the amount of pot that was mailed,
- the amounts mailed by others if you are charged with conspiracy,
- the offender’s criminal history,
- how you choose to plead, and
- whether you cooperate with the authorities and the value of that cooperation
Mailing hemp, however, may be a different story under the Farm Bills. Federally legalized hemp products containing a THC content of less than 0.3% includes most CBD products. However, hemp products can only be mailed by a licensed industrial hemp producer.
Although half the United States has legalized marijuana, shipping marijuana through the postal system or via courier remains illegal. The increase in the number of states legalizing weed has caused the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to keep a close eye on packages being shipped now more than ever before.
Facing a Marijuana Charge? Contact SMT Legal Today
If you or a loved one has been charged with a state or federal drug crime in Pittsburgh, contact our Pittsburgh Drug Crime Lawyers to learn more how we can help you. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at SMT, have handled numerous drug charge cases and will listen to your specific situation to find the best way to resolve your case.
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