Contrary to critics of legalized marijuana, a new report indicates that pot reform has led to a decrease in illegal shipments of the herb through the U.S. Postal Service – just another piece of evidence proving that prohibition is the root of felonious drug activity in the Land of the Free.
The U.S. News and World Report recently collected statistics from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which shows a significant decrease in people shipping marijuana through the mail since Colorado and Washington established taxed and regulated cannabis markets. In fact, Uncle Sam noticed a 12 percent reduction in this federal offense in 2014, as well as an equal decrease in pot poundage seized by postal inspectors.
Although marijuana continues to be made legal on a statewide basis across the country, the federal government still considers weed to be one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. It is for that reason that shipping even the smallest amount of the herb through the U.S. Postal Service is considered a criminal offense that is prosecuted at the federal level. The Postal Inspection Agency is the law enforcement branch charged with bringing the hammer down in such cases.
“We investigate any and all suspicious packages that contain illegal narcotics,” Lori McCallister, the postal inspector’s national spokesperson, told U.S. News.
Although the recent decline in pot shipments through the U.S. Mail may not seem important enough to make a fuss, marijuana activists suggest that it provides us with a glimpse into the demise of the back market drug trade in the event that prohibition is repealed.
“Most of the shipping that’s being done is by people in the illicit market, and those are the people we’re trying to get out of business,” said Diane Goldstein, who serves as an executive board member with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
Interestingly, the Drug Enforcement Administration also reports a decline in marijuana seizures since legal pot markets began to surface in America. In 2014, the DEA took control of less black market marijuana than they have in almost 30 years.
However, the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which is the drug enforcement watchdog for Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, claims that regardless of the reports from the USPIS and the DEA, they have noticed an increase in marijuana shipments coming from Colorado. Yet, McCallister told U.S. News that not only are these claims inaccurate, but they were likely padded in an attempt to maintain the agency’s federal funding.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service busted over 2,000 people in 2014 for sending controlled substances through the mail. The agency claims to aggressively prosecute such cases, even those committed in states that have legalized the leaf. In other words, it is still considered a federal crime in Colorado to ship weed to a friend or family member living within the state.