The United States' is in an awkward phase with marijuana. Some states have cannabis fully legalized and others have it as a federal offense. If you are located in a state where marijuana is illegal, it can be a serious pain. Especially, if you're located right next to a state where recreational and medical marijuana is legalized. If you're located in a state where marijuana is illegal, it would make sense to try and see if you can purchase it online. But here are a few tips and reason's not too.
The following is an excerpt on an amazing piece written by Abby Hutmacher for PotGuide.com.
How Online Marijuana Sale Scams Work
We’ve all seen them: the social media posts offering to ship top-quality marijuana anywhere in the world for seemingly affordable prices. They may list their menu and provide a phone number through which to place your orders. Though many of us would find these posts shady and scroll past, every now and then, someone takes the bait.
Using a burner app that lets the user create temporary phone numbers (which can be “burned” as soon as they’re no longer needed) online “dealers” will send text messages, nug photos and send/receive phone calls to answer questions and provide purchase instructions. Once a deal has been reached and the buyer has deposited money into the seller’s account, communication is lost and the weed (if there ever was any) never gets sent.
Of course, not all online marijuana sales are scams. Sometimes, people in prohibition states have connections in 420-friendly states and hit friends up for a little mail-order party package. But, regardless of any monetary exchange, shipping marijuana through the mail, even small amounts, is still a big no-no due to marijuana’s illegal federal status. As soon as marijuana crosses state lines, it becomes a federal offense and could be subject to severe penalties.
In fact, according to one Fed Ex worker, the pot -- and all parties involved -- could end up being held in police custody for aiding in the transfer of an illegal substance.
How Cops Bust Postal Pot
When packages are shipped through Fed Ex or UPS, they no longer hold the same promise of privacy thanks to the fourth amendment of the Constitution. According to the amendment, once a third party takes possession of a package, it is no longer protected against privacy infringement and can therefore be searched.
Even USPS, a government-funded facility which requires all employees to possess a search warrant to rifle through someone else’s package, has ways of busting people for the illegal shipment of marijuana. According to the Leaf Online, when a package is suspected of holding drugs, employees will notify local law enforcement who will then dress as postal workers, deliver the package, then nab the recipient as soon as the package is accepted. Penalties for shipping or receiving marijuana in the mail include jail time and hefty fines; penalties increase drastically as the weight and number of transactions rises.
Overall, purchasing weed online doesn't seem like a very smart idea. It has a ton of risk and doesn't give the best payout. You could end up with a federal offense added to your record, and it doesn't help that police are cracking down on postal mailing of substances. Hutmacher states, "Marijuana legalization correlates directly with an increased rate of package seizures. Of more than 2,500 arrests for illegal package shipment in 2013, almost 70 percent were for marijuana packages – a 20 percent increase since 2012. Though many seem foggy on the legal issues concerning cannabis shipment, the federal government’s stance is clear: once it crosses state lines, it becomes a federal offense punishable by fines and jail time."