Marijuana in the Mail: What You Should Know Before Mail Ordering

Marijuana in the Mail

Marijuana laws in a lot of states are loosening up lately, which may lead consumers to believe they can do more with the drugs than they used to. However, sending marijuana in the mail remains illegal under federal law; and, the United States Postal Service (USPS) can and will intercept your package which could cause you to be arrested. In fact, every single year, thousands of mailed packages of pot are intercepted. During the fiscal year 2018, Postal Inspectors seized 96,668 pounds of mailed narcotics and other drugs and obtained 1,624 related drug crime convictions.

Sending marijuana in the mail remains illegal under federal law. You cannot even mail marijuana in a state where it is decriminalized or “legal.”

While still illegal under federal law, mailing marijuana is also illegal under many state laws. Although it varies according to the facts of each case, a violator can be charged in federal court, state court, or both. Factors that influence the severity of the charges and resulting punishment include:

  1. the amount of pot that was mailed,
  2. the amounts mailed by others if you are charged with conspiracy,
  3. the offender’s criminal history,
  4. how you choose to plead, and
  5. whether you cooperate with the authorities and how valuable that cooperation is to them, among other factors.

While federal law prohibits mailing it between states, even mailing the drug from one location to another in a legal state can subject you to arrest and prosecution.

Federal Law Prohibits Mailing Marijuana

United States federal law prohibits mailing controlled substances, of which marijuana is one – and, both the shipper and the recipient can be punished. The potential federal laws you violate when engaging in this behavior can include but are not limited to:

  • Marijuana trafficking
  • Misuse of the mail
  • Mailing of injurious articles
  • Conspiracy

As the federal law regarding shipping marijuana currently stands, the base charge for shipping less than 50 kilos of marijuana through the United States Postal Service can lead to up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

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 – they can simply open your envelope, box, or other package as they wish.

Since the federal government will indict these third-party carriers as co-conspirators in the distribution of controlled substances, they are likely to indict a shipper violating federal law. It doesn’t hurt that workers are offered up to $50,000 as a reward for finding and reporting those who ship marijuana.

Mailing Hemp

Mailing hemp, however, may be a different story under the Farm Bills which federally legalized hemp products containing a THC content of less than 0.3% (this includes most, if not all, CBD products). However, hemp products can only be mailed by a licensed industrial hemp producer.

Although half the United States has legalized weed, 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.

Best criminal defense lawyer in PA – Criminal Defense Client

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