Today’s blog is going to examine a thoroughly hypothetical situation where a Texan could suddenly find themselves in great need of a skillful and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
Jorge has a friend, Sam, who lives in Colorado and works as a budtender in one of Denver’s most popular marijuana dispensaries. Sam often brags to Jorge about the potency of the buds he sells to his customers and offers Jorge an especially good deal on some very potent strains of high-grade marijuana.
Jorge, who lives here in Houston, realizes that both state and federal laws prohibit receiving marijuana through the United States mail or via private carrier. Regardless, he agrees to buy a few pungent buds of White Widow from his Colorado budtender friend.
Why this is a very bad idea
Say it with me: Sending or receiving marijuana can get you busted. Rest assured that if Jorge and Sam can cook up a scheme to send buds through the mail, someone else tried the same modus operandi and got busted for it.
You’ll hear war stories from those who have both sent and received pot through the mail, and they got lucky. Inevitably, with the millions of parcels that pass through the United States Postal Service (USPS) each day, some contraband will reach its destination unmolested. Yet in one single year, the USPS intercepted around 7,600 packages containing 42,000 lbs. of weed. Because it’s a federal agency, no warrants are even needed.
Understand, too, that the postal service is a federal agency, which puts your bust under the jurisdiction of the feds. According to some sources, intercepted contraband is on the rise, with a 20 percent uptick since 2013. A total of 26,622 people got arrested, and nearly 70 percent of them were busted on pot charges.
You might wonder how they do it, or what is the motivation of the postal workers to drop a dime to the cops that pot is passing through their jurisdiction. Follow the money. It’s not hard to see why a reward of $50,000 for anyone convicted of mailing contraband wouldn’t be a welcome addition to the bank account of an average postal worker.
Why private carriers do not reduce risk
While you might dodge federal charges this way, it certainly doesn’t mean that you are in the clear to mail marijuana using FedEx or UPS.
Ever since pot became legal in some states, the USPS and private carriers have become far more scrupulous in monitoring outgoing parcels from those weed-legal states. Third-party carriers are eligible to reap the same $50,000 rewards of their USPS counterparts. They can and will arrange for the cops to come looking for you as soon as you accept delivery either actively, by signing for it, or passively, by opening it.
Change your luck with a strong defense strategy
If you got busted for sending or receiving marijuana through the mail or via third-party carrier, you need an aggressive defense attorney who is able to inject some reasonable doubt into the prosecution’s argument and hopefully lead to an acquittal.