If you live in one of the country’s areas where medical or even recreational marijuana are legally permitted to be purchased, you might want to think twice before you send a shipment to a friend in other parts of the country that haven’t yet opened their liberal doors to the idea of legalization.
As U.S. News reports, the United States Postal Service is a favored ways for pot proponents to ship buds from one place to the next because the governmental institution is more protected by the Fourth Amendment than are the alternative non-governmentally operated companies such as FedEx and UPS. Keep in mind that more stringent protection doesn’t mean you’re free and clear to send cannabis sailing across the country in one of those “You fit it, we ship it” boxes. Inspectors at the USPS are certainly paying attention to the packages that are going through their queues by utilizing drug dogs and other methods, those of which members of the USPS are reluctant to reveal, fearing that it will result in even better boxes being built.
Getting caught shipping pot won’t necessarily result in a simple slap on the wrist. In the most recently ended fiscal year, which concluded in September of 2013, around 45,000 pounds of marijuana were confiscated from 9,100 USPS packages. The seizure of these packages resulted in 2,622 arrests and indictments for mailing controlled substances. These numbers are up dramatically from the prior 2012 fiscal year, with the number of arrests and indictments increasing by more than 14%, and the number of parcel interceptions increasing by nearly 20%.
It remains unknown if the sharp uptick is the result of more marijuana shipments, improved detection methods, or a combination of the two. In either case, you might want to think twice before you stuff a few joints into that cardboard box that you’re sending to another state.