December 31, 2019 | Criminal Defense
In an era when everything from groceries to vehicles – and everything in between – can be bought online, it only makes sense that marijuana would get the same treatment.
In fact, from 2005-2017, about 2.5 million people looked for online marijuana ordering services in their Google searches.
When you also consider that Canada has legalized pot nationwide as have a host of U.S. states, it’s easy to understand the popularity of web surfing for weed.
What may seem to be a convenient way to buy weed may put you at odds with the law.
Is it Legal to Order Weed Online for Delivery?
Laws about the legalization of marijuana are rapidly changing across all 50 states. As we go to press with this blog, Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize the leafy stuff.
In spite of the changes, though, it is illegal to purchase pot online in all 50 states.
Even as a host of Hoosier cities move to decriminalize its use, mail-ordered weed is illegal the second it crosses state lines because pot remains illegal at the federal level.
Can I Order Pot Through UPS or FedEx?
Even though these are private providers, they still abide by federal law. Because of that, you’re taking serious legal chances by going this route.
Because it’s still illegal in the state of Indiana, smoking marijuana just about anywhere can get you in a heap of legal trouble.
While you may receive a notice from either of these providers assuring your privacy with your order, that assurance goes out the window as soon as a third party has possession of the package.
Even if one of their couriers does agree to ship your order, they are likely to cooperate with federal authorities in order to save their own skin.
Why is Mail Order Weed Illegal?
Remember, the USPS is a federal agency. As more and more states make pot legal, it’s still illegal at the federal level.
Even though there are some medical uses for marijuana, it’s considered a Schedule I drug. Such drugs cannot be legally delivered via U.S. mail.
Because increasingly more people are scouring the internet for the best mail order marijuana option, law enforcement is intercepting more and more packages.
What’s the Penalty for Ordering Marijuana Online?
Any drug crime carries serious legal consequences.
If you accept mail-ordered marijuana, you’ll likely face both federal and state charges. Depending on the amount of pot you ordered, your legal problems could be severe.
You may be looking at up to five years in prison – just for a first offense with less than 50 grams of marijuana.
A report from Leaf Online outlines how such arrests go down. Once packages thought to contain marijuana are identified by the mail service, they’re held until local law enforcement officers arrive. The officers then dress as postal workers and arrest the recipient after the package is accepted. Neither of the postal carriers will give you a heads-up about there being anything wrong with the package.
Is Mail Order Marijuana a Scam?
Not always, but it often is.
A majority of internet searchers looking for mail-order pot clicked on links for retailers assuring customers of delivery through either the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) or a privately-owned delivery provider.
Here’s how the scam usually works:
- A vendor offers a full menu of offerings – including the different strains, edibles, topicals, etc. – and promises to ship your order regardless of where you are in the world.
- Your messages are sent through what is supposed to be a “burner app,” which the vendor assures will be deleted as soon as your order is complete.
- Once you place your order and the vendor deposits the cash, all communication ceases, and you don’t receive your order.
Again, not all online marijuana offerings are scams. Regardless, it’s best to play it safe by protecting your money and not risking being charged by police if the package is held up.
Will Odor-Proof Bags and Stealthy Packaging Protect Me From Being Caught?
Using these techniques to fool drug dogs are risky as can be. Sometimes they work; often times they do not.
In some cases, vendors who advertise odor-proof bags fail to provide them. Either way, with potential prison time on the line, do you really want to take your chances and put your freedom at risk?
The Key Takeaway
Although it’s true that marijuana laws are quickly evolving in this country, the lesson to learn from this issue is to remain cautious. In other words, for your own legal protection, stay away from mail order weed.