Not surprisingly, as a result, the Postal Service has managed to lose a lot of money. USPS has accumulated $47 billion in operating losses since the 1971. It’s no surprise that the agency is constantly talked about being on the verge of collapse, which would sadly result in the loss of thousands jobs in the U.S. This may not prove be a case of invention being the mother of necessity but, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, traffic, is traffic, is traffic.
In terms of alternative carriers within the U.S., there are a number of private couriers. The big three outside of USPS are FedEx, UPS, and DHL. A question for the discerning cannabis shipper might be “Which service should I choose and are any of these a better, safer option than USPS?” Surely these private companies offer the paying customers greater protection against government interference and warrantless searches? FedEx, UPS, and DHL all specify in their terms of service that they reserve the right to open and inspect any package at their own discretion. Postal Service is the preferred carrier for many drug shippers because it offers more stringent Fourth Amendment protection. Postal inspectors must acquire a search warrant based on probable cause before inspecting mail and parcels. According to the USPS: “…first class letters and parcels are protected against search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, and, as such, cannot be opened without a search warrant.” What Would Actually Happen if the DEA Rescheduled Cannabis? When you drop your package off at the FedEx or UPS store to be mailed, you’re putting the property into the possession of a third party, and the Supreme Court has ruled that giving your package to a third party “removes any reasonable expectation of privacy.” To compound this, in 2014, the U.S.
Department of Justice indicted FedEx with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances over its alleged role in transporting illegal prescription drugs. While this isn’t marijuana, it does strongly indicate that FedEx and other private couriers will be scrutinizing packages much more closely for any illegal substances. This is not necessarily the case with the USPS, because as government employees, they are the federal government and therefore require a warrant to access your package. However, although postal inspectors do have to obtain a warrant to search a suspicious package, suspicion alone is enough to get parcels singled out and tracked. USPS actively encourages workers and the public to get involved in the identification of packages containing drugs by offering $50,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of a drug trafficker. When it comes right down to it, as an option for the illegal transportation of cannabis via mail, USPS is – relatively! Remember, the act is an illegal one and, without a doubt, carries a significant level of risk. Risks and penalties of being caught mailing cannabis. Crunching the numbers, you can’t help but realize the stark reality facing the Postal Service in terms of the enormous task they have in preventing the trafficking of illicit substances. Put simply, the sheer volume of packages the carrier handles every day offers the chance that contraband packages will get delivered unchecked. They can put their collective shoulder to the wheel but, no matter how hard they try, it is virtually impossible for the USPS to catch all wrongdoers. Shipping drugs through the mail is probably safer than it should be. The USPS, as well as partnering law enforcement agencies, simply don’t have the resources to try to figure out where the drugs are coming from and who’s expecting them. However, it would be unfair to fault the USPS in the matter; they are just not equipped to scan and investigate each package. Not only are packages given extra protection, as we’ve outlined, but the agency has also been losing money pretty much every year for the last decade due to a decrease in mail volume. The organization is increasingly under-resourced and facing pressure to downsize being exerted by the government. In 2016, despite turning a profit in a financial quarter for the first time in five years, President Obama still proposed the agency slash 12,000 employees in his fiscal 2017 budget. The USPS is definitely getting a new line of business; it’s just not the business they want. Which States Are Most Likely to Legalize Cannabis Next? While acknowledging the Sisyphean uphill struggle the USPS faces, it’s worth reminding any would-be Pablo Escobars that misusing the Postal Service in this way remains, at best, a game of Russian roulette. The United States Postal Service are a government agency and therefore subject to federal law. As the USPS is subject to federal guidelines, any illegal use of their services is a felony. Plus, marijuana is still considered to be a Schedule I drug. That means anything under 50 grams can potentially get you up to five years in a federal penitentiary, and the penalties only increase as the amount grows. Also, in case you’re thinking of doing anybody any favors, that even if you did not mail the package and are only the recipient, your knowledge and participation in the planning of the shipping makes you just as guilty as the person who mailed the package. Once a package is seized, a person is liable to face prosecution in both the state in which it was mailed as well as the state in which it was delivered.
Look, the Postal Service isn’t willing nor does it want to be your drug mule. The United States Postal Service is one of the oldest institutions in the nation. For those burgeoning, low-level drug dealers out there, you’re not only running the risk of federal prosecution, you’re disrespecting a genuine pillar of US democracy. Cannabis Tinctures: From Glycerin to MCT Oil, Which Is Best? Tinctures are an increasingly popular way to consume cannabis: They’re easy to dose and easy to take. The tincture’s versatility has meant that a growing number of product options are available in today’s modern cannabis market.
To manufacture cannabis products, phytocannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) must first be extracted from the plant. There are many different ways of doing this, each with their pros and cons, but the three most common methods involve: The end result of a cannabis extraction process yields a concentrate that’s the basis for many products like vapor pens, salves and—yes, you guessed it—tinctures. In traditional herbalism, tinctures are made of plant matter that’s soaked in alcohol, then strained and put in a glass dropper bottle for consumption.