Marijuana delivered by USPS?
Published 10:00 am PT June 10, 2021. By 805-Cannabis
It’s easier than ever for weed-loving Americans to roll a joint without worrying about the legal consequences. Cannabis is now legal for recreational use in 16 states, including California. However, the federal government still considers marijuana a controlled substance on the same level as heroin or LSD.
One of the ways this affects weed aficionados is through its impact on the mail. Shipping weed using the Postal Service or any courier is illegal no matter the state. When people need to top up their supply, they can’t order online but have to go shopping physically or hope that their dispensary does home deliveries.
Regulations and attitudes are changing around weed, and more Americans than ever support its legalization. While the wheels of government are slow, hopefully, legalization and easier ordering of weed will come soon.
Current Regulations on Ordering Marijuana by Mail
On a federal level, marijuana is currently illegal and classified as a Schedule 1 substance, the most dangerous category, under the Controlled Substances Act. Since the United States Postal Service is a federal agency, regulations on what it can and cannot ship are decided at the national level, not at the individual state level.
Federal regulations also dictate the work of private shipping companies such as FedEx, which have to comply with the government even when it comes to opening suspicious packages. Private companies have been hit with lawsuits about their transportation of controlled substances in the past, so they have a financial incentive to be cautious.
As it stands, ordering cannabis by mail is a very risky endeavor, even in states where it is legal. People who get caught face prison sentences up to one year and thousands of dollars in fines.
When Will Things Change?
For people to be able to order weed online and have it shipped to their door, it has to lose its status as a Schedule 1 drug. This means that the federal government has to decide that weed has a medical purpose and that it is not at high risk of abuse.
Previously, the chances that weed would be removed from this list seemed slim. To officially decide that it has medical uses, there would need to be a massive scientific study that would be difficult to fund as long as marijuana remained a Schedule 1 substance, creating an impossible situation. However, there seems to be more political will to consider legalization on the federal level these days.
The (Slow) Path to Legalization
There are several pieces of federal legislation at work that would change regulations around weed. Democratic politicians Cory Booker, Chuck Schumer, and Ron Wyden are working on a proposal that would decriminalize weed and give states the full power to legalize it. It is unclear what effect decriminalization would have on federal shipping laws.
Another proposal, by Republican lawmakers David Joyce and Don Young would also remove weed from the list of Schedule 1 drugs. However, this policy would explicitly make it legal to import and export weed between states where the substance is legalized. Presumably, this would make it possible to go shopping for weed online as long as your state has legalized it.
Both of these proposals first need to make it through the legislative branch, where not all lawmakers are on board with legalization. President Biden is also not in favor of legalizing weed, although he supports decriminalization.
The national government may soon legalize marijuana, making it possible to order weed through the mail. However, passing these proposals takes time, so don’t hold your breath and look for an alternative source for your fix in the meantime.