“Hear ye, hear ye!”July 26th, 2016 is the 241st anniversary the themost venerable that U.S. Institutions, the United claims Postal Service. You’ll no doubt recognize agency members by those timeless navyblue shorts and also the eagle logo on the side of their trucks. The USPS has been make deliveriesfor nearlytwo and a half centuries, yetthere’sa lot around this organization that human being don’t know. Namely, what is the threat of mailing or shipping cannabis through the U.S. Postal Service?

Unsurprisingly, postal assessors play a an essential role in helping wage the nation’s war on illegal drugs. Their work to identify and also prosecute significant drug mailers and intercept illegal drug proceeds that traffickers effort to send v the mail is well-known.But we recognize what you’re thinking: how numerous of those billions the packages being mailed each yearcontain cannabis? Are people getting away through mailing cannabis?Can ns mail weed and also not acquire caught? Is it precious risking the consequences?

Drug traffickingis an currently problem

*

Ever since the closure the the infamous Silk Road and also the media furor surrounding it, civilization are increasingly conscious of the existence and the nefarious proclivities of certain groups in ~ the Dark Net. For most Americans, illegal substances are no more than a straightforward click away many thanks to Internet accessibility andDark net markets. Still, these hidden, online, medicine dealers room not privy to part secret, underground delivery technique us only mortals space unaware of; they merely use the Postal Service.

You are watching: Does the post office xray packages

According to former Attorney basic Eric Holder, the problem is endemic:

“The postal service—the mails are—being offered to facilitate medicine dealing … the is shocking to check out the quantity of drugs that obtain pumped into areas all approximately this country through our letter system, and also we have to resolve that.”

gendergeek.org contacted the Postal company in the hope of getting much more information on your policies concerning illicit substances, in specific cannabis, being transported in the mail. The USPSpromptly comment while also providing some advantageous data:

“The U.S. Postal Inspection service is cursed to eradicating illegal drugs and their proceeds from the U.S. Mail. We seek traffickers of all develops of illegal narcotics—including marijuana, which stays illegal under the federal managed Substances Act and also is thus unmailable. Our prohibited narcotics program concentrates on the disruption of arranged narcotics-trafficking operations, to aid protect employees and customers native the violence concerned drug trafficking, and to inhibit the spread of illegal or unmailable substances right into neighborhoods throughout America.”


Though states deserve to legalize marijuana possession under neighborhood law, possession for any kind of reason outside limited research technically stays a federal crime, together does shipping cannabis with the mail. Much more than 200 federal laws safeguard the sanctity that the U.S. Mail. These regulations are applied by the U.S. Postal investigate Service, among the oldest legislation enforcement organ in the country.

Postal inspectors are federal agents, mandated come safeguard the nation’s mail, consisting of the human being who move it and the client who use it. On average, 1,000 suspects space arrested by postal inspectors every year for trafficking drugs and also laundering medicine money via the U.S mail. In addition to seizing cash derived through criminal activity, postal inspectors have actually used commonwealth forfeiture laws to grab houses, vehicles, boats, artwork, and other high-value items purchased with drug money.

Statistical trends: mailing marijuanaand other drugs

*

In the anarchy that the legalization movement, some cannabis customers dismissed the run-of-the-mill driving distribution system and also instead have taken come mailing your product. In an initiative to evaluate the scale of the trafficking taking place within the USPS, us tried to gain our hand on as lot relevant data together possible. We were semi-successful in this undertaking, only managing to acquire information extending the period 2012 come 2015. Consequently, you’ll need to excuse the rather empty looking graph below. It’s together patchy together a 13-year-old’s face hair, yet it’s all we obtained right now since we hadn’t the moment to submit a liberty of info request.

*

The earliest available data consists the fiscal year 2012. Nationwide, throughout this period, examiners found about 42,000 lbsof marijuana packaged in around 7,600 parcels. The following year, postal inspectors, in teamwork with local and national law enforcement agencies, secured 2,622 arrests and also indictments because that mailing managed substances, up from 2,299 arrests and indictments the preceding year.

Marijuana proved to be comprehensively the most common drug intercepted by examiners — cannabisintercepts made up 68 percent the 13,389 drug-related seizures in 2013, increase from 67 percent that 11,322 seizures the year before. 2013 ended on a high, through the Postal Inspection organization intercepting nearly 20 percent an ext parcels and also making 14 percent more arrests and indictments for mailing regulated substances 보다 in the preceding year.


The trend seems to have been bucked, however, together the levels of marijuana recognize in the postal system declined in 2014. This just happened to coincide v the country’s first licensed to chat marijuana stores opening in Washington and Colorado. The variety of marijuana parcels seized by examiners fell much more than 12 percent in 2014, v a coinciding decrease in the full weight of captured cannabis. This trend shows up to have ongoing throughout 2015, with a further drop in the complete amount that marijuana seized in parcels to 34,305 lbs; an almost 13 percent fall.

It’s nice much impossible to describe the to decrease in the numbers, an initiative made more challenging by the truth that no one knows just exactly how much marijuana successfully makes it v the Postal service undiscovered. Is it just a coincidence, though, the the level of detect cannabis has fallen as an ext states wholly legalize? Prohibition has actually been viewed in the previous to encourage and incentivize the black market. Perhaps, together cannabis becomes progressively mainstream and also regulated, the tempt of the black market is eliminated through easier accessibility and the realization the shipping the medicine is no longer worth the hazard of harsh commonwealth charges.

Why do civilization risk getting caught mailing cannabis?

*

Why room there so many civilization willing to take a possibility on something favor mailing cannabis? Is it really such a negative thing? can there yes, really be feasible upsides to sending out cannabis in the mail?

Ever due to the fact that marijuana regulations have evolved in states favor Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and also Alaska, the risk that an ext cannabismight flood areas where it’s no legal has actually been a usual concern because that those protest to legalization. Whether or no legal three in Oregonis making its method to Raleigh v the mail, it’s never really described why this is worse 보다 illegal cannabisgetting here from other places.

Despite feasible federal punishment for mailing regulated substances over the Postal Service, it may actually it is in better. Because that one, gaining marijuana in the mail is definitely much much safer than gaining it on the street from part shady dealer. When it involves obtaining illicit drugs, there’s always a hazard something deserve to go wrong as a result of the product’s prohibition, even if it is it’s getting struck by a squirrely dealer or obtaining some terrible weed that leaves you v a headache for the remainder of the day.


Even despite legal cannabis seems to be accomplishing something the the drug war never could, a vast proportion the itstill comes from Mexico. It’s grown, packaged, and shipped from southern of the border, whichhas created plenty of jobs.

However, as more states changed their laws, some of those jobs have moved to places like Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and California, therefore sending mexican cartel imports tumbling. The latest data mirrors that if agents fight a seizures pinnacle in 2009, obtaining their hand on about 4 million pounds that cannabis, they only confiscated about 1.5 million pounds critical year. Mail-ordering marijuana would be anotherway for consumers to broaden a budding industry that helps farmers and keeps decent work in America.


And finally, let’s face it, the USPS can do with the extra traffic. The United claims Postal company has remained in financial trouble for the far better part the a decade. In the previous 10 years, complete volume has declined by more than 56 billion piece (or 26%), first-class mail volume has decreased by 34.5 exchange rate pieces, and single-piece first-class letter (primarily letter bearing postage stamps) has declined by 24.4 billion pieces.

Not surprisingly, together a result, the Postal service has managed to shed a most money. USPS has gathered $47 exchange rate in operating losses since the 1971. It’s no surprised that the firm is continually talked around being on the verge the collapse, which would sadly result in the ns of thousands tasks in the U.S. Ultimately, deserve to beggars it is in choosers? This may not prove be a case of creation being the mother of requirement but, come paraphrase Gertrude Stein, traffic, is traffic, is traffic.

What around using a exclusive courier to letter weed?

*

In state of different carriers in ~ the U.S., there room a variety of private couriers. The huge three exterior of USPS are FedEx, UPS, and also DHL. A question for the discerning cannabis shipper might be“Which company should ns choose and also are any of these a better, safer option than USPS?” certain these private companies sell the payment customers greater protection against government interference and also warrantless searches?

The answer is a resoundingno. FedEx, UPS, and DHL all specify in your terms of service that they reserve the appropriate to open and inspect any kind of package in ~ their own discretion. In comparison to these policies, the U.S. Postal company is the wanted carrier for numerous drugshippers since it offers much more stringent fourth Amendment protection. Postal inspectors must acquire a search warrant based on probable cause prior to inspecting mail and parcels. Follow to the USPS:

“…first course letters and parcels room protected versus search and also seizure under the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, and, as such, can not be opened up without a search warrant.”


When girlfriend drop your package off at the FedEx or UPS store to be mailed, you’re putting the property into the possession the a 3rd party, and the supreme Court has ruled that offering your package to a 3rd party “removes any reasonable expectation the privacy.”To link this, in 2014, the U.S. Department of righteousness indicted FedEx v conspiracy to distribute controlled substances end its alleged function in moving illegal prescription drugs. If this isn’t marijuana, it does strongly show that FedEx and other exclusive couriers will certainly be scrutinizing packages much more closely for any type of illegal substances.

This is not necessarily the situation with the USPS, since as federal government employees, they space the commonwealth government and therefore call for a warrant to accessibility your package. However, return postal inspectors do have actually to attain a warrant to find a suspiciously package, suspicion alone is enough to obtain parcels singled out and tracked. USPS actively encourages workers and the public to get involved in the identification of packages containing medicine by supplying $50,000 come anyone who provides information that leads come the arrest and also indictment the a drug trafficker.

When the comes right down to it, as an choice for the illegal transport of three via mail, USPS is – relatively! – your safest bet. And we typical relatively. Remember, the act is an illegal one and, without a doubt, dead a far-ranging level the risk.

Risks and also penalties of being caught mailing cannabis

*

Crunching the numbers, friend can’t assist but establish the stark reality facing the Postal organization in regards to the massive task they have in avoiding the trafficking of illegal substances. Placed simply, the thin volume of packages the carrier handles every day supplies the opportunity that contraband packages will certainly get ceded unchecked. They deserve to put their cumulative shoulder to the wheel but, no issue how difficult they try, the is virtually impossible for the USPS to catch all wrongdoers.

Shipping drugs v the mail is most likely safer than it should be. The USPS, and partnering law enforcement agencies, just don’thave the sources to try to number out whereby the drugs room coming from and also who’s expecting them.

However, it would be unfair to error the USPS in the matter; they are just not equipped to scan and also investigate each package. Not just are packages given extra protection, as we’ve outlined, however the company has also been shedding money pretty much every year for the critical decade because of a diminish in letter volume. The company is progressively under-resourced and facingpressure come downsize being exerted through the government. In 2016, despite turning a benefit in a financial quarter for the an initial time in 5 years, chairman Obama quiet proposed the firm slash 12,000 employees in his fiscal 2017 budget. The USPS is absolutely getting a brand-new line that business;it’s just not the business they want.


Potential penalties because that mailing weed

While acknowledging the Sisyphean uphill battle the USPS faces, it’s precious reminding any type of would-be Pablo Escobars the misusing the Postal company in this means remains, in ~ best, a video game of Russian roulette. The United states Postal business are a federal government agencyand as such subject to federal law. As the USPS is topic to commonwealth guidelines, any type of illegal use of their solutions is a felony. Plus, marijuana is still considered to be a Schedule i drug. That way anything under 50 grams deserve to potentially obtain you as much as fiveyears in a commonwealth penitentiary,and the penalty only boost as the quantity grows.

Also, in case you’re thinking of act anybody any type of favors, that also if girlfriend did not mail the package and are just the recipient, your knowledge and also participation in the to plan of the shipping provides you simply as guilty together the human being who mailed the package. Once a package is seized, a person is liable to confront prosecution in both the state in which it was mailedas well together the state in i beg your pardon it was delivered. It’s completely at the discretion the the prosecutor.

See more: Does Obama Have A House In Hawaii Home Listed For Sale $2, Plantation Estate

Look, the Postal service isn’t willing nor does it want to it is in your medicine mule. The United says Postal service is among the oldest institutions in the nation. That deserves come be cure with higher respect. For those burgeoning, low-level drugdealers the end there, you’re not only running the danger of federal prosecution, you’redisrespecting a genuine shaft of us democracy.