Have a friend in Colorado that you want to send you some marijuana? You may want to think twice. The rate of intercepted shipments containing pot has risen 20% in the past year with over 2500 arrests and indictments.
There are many creative ways to package and ship marijuana, but law enforcement has caught on and the probability of getting caught is large. They are on higher alert since the legalization of pot, and criminal defense attorneys all over Ohio are busy defending people who have received these “gifts”
Once the package is sent across state lines, it becomes federal in which case pot is considered a “Schedule I” drug, meaning it has no currently accepted medical use and has a high potential for abuse. These Schedule I drugs are thought of as the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.
Even if you are the recipient, the simple knowledge and planning of the shipping makes you as guilty as your friend who mailed it. A local, experienced criminal defense attorney can tell you precisely what you should expect if you are facing this kind of offense.
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution enables FedEx or UPS to be the third party in possession of the package once it is dropped off at their stores – which the Supreme Court held that once this happens, there no longer exists reasonable expectation of privacy. Both companies are asked to comply with law enforcement and to be vigilant in identifying packages that look or smell like they may contain drugs – in fact they are offered $50,000 to any employee who provides information that leads to arrest and indictment of a drug trafficker.
As for the United States Postal Service, who are government employees – they are required to get a warrant to get into your packages if they suspect drugs.
The Bottom Line: If you are caught sending or receiving a package filled with marijuana, expect prosecution in both states. The risks and penalties increase every day and the technology used to detect drugs is upgraded almost daily. If you are picking up a package, here in Ohio, beware that law enforcement is already watching if they were clued in at the sender’s location, and are just waiting for you to grab the package and walk off. Call me, immediately, especially if you didn’t know this special gift was coming. I will be able to help you; there are a variety of defenses available to you. It is absolutely possible to beat a charge like this. Our system is designed to protect the innocent. 513-260-2099