Marijuana on the Christmas List?
December 21th, 2021
Earlier this month, I received a text from a former client fairly late one evening. He had a quick question. He wanted to know if he could mail some marijuana back to Louisiana for the holidays.
First of all, I maintain a professional relationship with most of my clients long after their cases have closed. When I work with someone, they have my cell number and can contact me as the need arises.
My initial thought was that this was the dumbest question texted in quite a while. But, when I pressed down into the thought process, I realized this could be confusing, especially if you don’t work in the legal field and deal with these topics daily. My client didn’t realize he was asking how it can be legal in some states but not in others.
I thought about a disclaimer I’ve seen about products you cannot sell in some states, like exotic skins in California or even alcohol in some Louisiana towns, but you can bring those items into the state or town. So maybe this is a real issue.
Why can’t you mail marijuana?
The United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, and UPS all abide by Federal law. Federal law considers Marijuana a Schedule I Drug. Therefore it’s illegal to transport or move this product through the mail, just as it’s illegal to move any illegal substance through the mail.
In my client’s case, shipping home marijuana legally obtained would have been illegal. It is considered Drug Trafficking.
Incidentally, that would most likely result in charges for the sender and the recipient if sent to a friend. If the shipment’s weight is under 50 kilos, it is punishable with up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
Why can’t you give it to others?
While many people assume marijuana is legal and act as if there is no punishment, that isn’t the case. While current law has largely reduced the penalties for small amounts of marijuana possession, giving it to others is still classified as distribution. Punishment for the distribution of marijuana in Louisiana varies depending on weight. If it is a weight of less than two and one-half pounds, it is imprisonment for one to ten years and up to a $50,000 fine. If the weight is two and one-half pounds or more, it is imprisonment for one to twenty years; the fine is the same. And it does not matter if you receive money in exchange for marijuana. It is still considered a distribution.
Drug laws often change; this references what is available in 2021. If you or someone you know has questions about drug laws and what is permissible, please do not hesitate to contact Larrion L. Hillman at 318-549-9180.