Is Mail Order Weed Legal in California?
Last Updated on December 28, 2020
Marijuana is legal for recreational use and medical use in California. Many people assume that since the state legalized marijuana for recreational use, they cannot be charged with a crime related to marijuana. This assumption could get you into trouble in several ways.
For instance, there is much confusion about whether mail order weed is legal. Recent changes to California’s marijuana laws may make it legal for authorized dispensaries to deliver marijuana to homes, but that does not mean mail order marijuana is legal.
It is important to remember that the laws regarding marijuana in California can change. If you have questions about mail order weed, it is best to talk with a criminal defense attorney. Trusting information provided by businesses or shippers could result in an arrest and criminal penalty.
Marijuana is Still Illegal Under Federal Laws
The Controlled Substances Act lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug. Therefore, marijuana is illegal as a controlled substance according to federal laws. You cannot legally possess, buy, sell, or grow marijuana.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is a government agency. Even though the USPS operates within a state that has legalized marijuana, it must abide by federal laws.
You could purchase marijuana and supplies online in California. However, if you ship it through the USPS, you could be arrested for drug trafficking, drug paraphernalia, or other drug crimes by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). If you are convicted of a federal drug offense, you could face prison sentences, extremely high fines, and other criminal penalties.
How Can the USPS Search My Packages?
When you mail a package, a postal inspector or other law enforcement officer cannot search the package for drugs without a warrant. They must have probable cause that the package contains drugs. Some online marijuana companies claim that they pack products to prevent humans or dogs from detecting drugs, but that is not always the case.
If a package appears suspicious, the USPS can obtain a warrant to search the package. Therefore, it is never a good idea to order weed online in California and ship it through the USPS.
Using Third-Party Shippers for Mail Order Weed
Some companies use third party shippers such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL for their deliveries. The companies might claim that it is safe to ship marijuana through third party carriers because the carriers are not a government agency.
However, when a package is given to a third party carrier, you lose any right to privacy. Third-party carriers could open suspicious packages for inspection. Furthermore, third party carriers cooperate with federal officials because they do not want to be charged with a crime or face penalties for trafficking controlled substances.
Is it Worth the Risk to Ship Weed by Mail?
Simply put, it is not worth the risk to ship weed by mail. Marijuana is legal in California. You can purchase recreational marijuana throughout the state.
If you want home delivery, check with an authorized dispensary. The rules are changing regarding home delivery of weed in California. The new rules have made it easier for individuals living in counties with strict delivery rules to have marijuana delivered to their homes.
Even though you might have weed delivered to your home without using the mail or a third party delivery service, you must still follow all marijuana laws regarding the amount of marijuana you may possess at a time. There are still some restrictions on marijuana use in California. Possessing too much marijuana could result in an arrest.
Driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime in California. If you are arrested for marijuana DUI, you could lose your license, serve time in jail, and pay a fine. In some cases, a person might be required to install an ignition interlock device.
Fighting Marijuana Charges in California
If you are charged with any marijuana offense, you are innocent until proven guilty. The state has the burden of proving that you broke the law. It must have sufficient evidence to convince a judge or jury that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Do not help the state prove its case against you. If the police arrest you, you must provide your name, address, and identification. You are not required to answer any questions.
You are entitled to consult with a criminal defense attorney. Depending on the facts of your case, you could have several defenses to the drug charges. Exploring your defense options with a lawyer before talking with a prosecutor or accepting a plea bargain is in your best interest.