It’s a new era that most marijuana users live in. One in which they experience new liberty in parts of America where weed is now legal. New marijuana companies are now popping up every day. As the industry continues to mature, users are increasingly wondering if mailing medical marijuana is legal.
While mailing weed might seem like an exciting opportunity to share it with family, friends, and even customers, it’s time you know the risks involved and how to navigate federal laws for mailing marijuana.
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The Risk of Mailing Weed – Can You Mail Marijuana?
Although more states are legalizing marijuana in some form, sending weed in the mail is still a federal crime. Importantly, this holds irrespective of whether the destination or origin of the package has laws legalizing it. Let’s understand why.
According to the Controlled Substance Act, marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug. This means that it has a high potential for abuse in the opinion of the U.S. government and is not accepted as medicine.
And when it comes to mail delivery services, federal laws surpass all other laws. As a result, mailing medical marijuana is illegal across all forms of mail transport. This includes private carriers like UPS, FedEx, and the USPS.
Trafficking Schedule 1 drugs can lead to prison time if the service providers find more than 28 grams of weed in the mail. So if you want to send marijuana through the mail, it’s wise to have a valid medical marijuana card. This card allows you to possess, transport, and consume medical marijuana.
What Are the Consequences of Mailing Medical Marijuana?
If legal authorities bust you with weed in the mail, you’ve possibly violated more federal laws than you think.
The potential penalties for mailing weed vary widely under federal law and may even include mandatory minimum penalties. Factors that go into sentencing in court include:
- Your criminal history
- Amount of weed that you mailed
- Amount of weed mailed by the third party, if charged in a criminal conspiracy
- Whether you plead guilty
- Value of your cooperation with the authorities
Although federal marijuana laws are rapidly changing, it’s not likely that mailing medical marijuana will become legal anytime soon, if ever. Currently, mailing small amounts of weed(less than 50kgs) carries a penalty of five years in prison along with a fine of $250,000.
Remember, these charges only apply if you don’t have a criminal record. The potential penalties double if you repeat the same offense – a jail time of up to ten years and a $500,000 fine.
Mailing Medical Marijuana – Does It Matter Where You Mail It?
Well, it doesn’t matter where you mail it – since by simply putting it in the mailbox, you’re committing a crime. However, there are different degrees of illegality, right? So, let’s see the difference between mailing marijuana within the same state and sending it over state lines.
Mailing Weed Interstate
If you mail marijuana over state lines, it’s considered interstate commerce. This technically puts it under the jurisdiction of the feds and the DEA. So we’re talking about a severe offense and severe consequences if you get caught.
Besides being a federal crime, you put yourself at risk of prosecution under the laws of whatever state(s) you’re sending to or from. For instance, if you mail marijuana from Atlanta to Georgia, you could be charged under Atlanta, Georgia, and federal laws.
Mailing Weed Instate
By far, mailing weed within the same state is the safest option, though it’s still illegal. The chances of the federal police getting involved are meager, so even if you get caught, the charges would be much less. Besides, the fewer processing centers your marijuana has to go through, the lowest chance of discovery.
Even if you take all the necessary precautions, including packaging your weed correctly, there’s still the likelihood of your weed encountering sniffer dogs at processing centers. What’s more, legal authorities have developed better detection strategies and technologies.
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What About Other Cannabis Products – Can You Mail Edibles?
Sharing an edible or a joint is just common courtesy, especially in states where cannabis products are legal. However, it’d help if you refrained from sending edibles through the mail. It’s illegal to mail cannabis products since cannabis is prohibited under the federal statute.
Choosing a Mailing Service
The mailing service provider you choose plays a significant role in the outcome. There are mainly two categories of mailing services in the U.S. The first category is the USPS, a government agency, and the second is private postal companies. Unless you have a legal medical marijuana card, it’s still illegal to use the following mailing services.
Mailing Weed With USPS
Some weed users prefer mailing with the United States Postal Service even though it’s a federal government agency. According to the Fourth Amendment, the USPS is subject to various rules about package inspection. So they can’t open or inspect your package without a warrant.
And to get a warrant, they must have reasonable cause. Otherwise, the workers aren’t allowed to open and inspect emails. Another advantage of mailing with USPS is that it’s often cheaper and doesn’t require a return address.
Mailing medical marijuana through the USPS presents a modicum of protection against inspection and seizure. But if you get busted, you can be subjected to penalties such as jail time and fines.
Mailing Marijuana With Private Delivery Services
Some of the most common private delivery services include FedEx and DHL. These companies aren’t part of the government, but that doesn’t make them safer to send your parcel without a license. By using these private organizations, you ultimately sign away your package’s privacy. In addition, the workers here are notorious for opening packs.
And since they’re not federal agencies, they can open, search, and seize a suspicious package without a warrant. Even worse, these companies often comply with federal laws and regulations to crack down on mailing weed and other illegal drugs.
What Makes Your Mail Suspicious?
Various things can raise red flags from postal inspectors and even employees. They include:
- Fake return addresses
- Fake business names
- Handwritten labels
- Heavily taped packages
- No phone numbers on labels
No matter how tempting it gets, never use the tricks mentioned above when mailing marijuana. Additionally, ensure you spell everything correctly when filling out the labels; any slight mistake is enough to make the authorities examine your parcel.
Also, don’t use sprays, deodorants, or scents to cover up the smell of weed. This technique will only make your package suspicious, and sniffing dogs will still smell weed anyway.
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Get Yourself a Gate Pass to a Stress-Free Weed Experience
Don’t run the risk of federal prosecution by sending weed through the mail without a valid card. Besides getting a license, you can check the best marijuana delivery services in your state as an alternative to mailing cannabis or edibles.
Here at MMJ Doctor, our licensed and certified marijuana doctors can help you minimize the risks involved in consuming, possessing, and sending weed.