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Is it legal to mail pot to residents in Washington?

Posted by Steve Karimi | Jun 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

The question in today's post title comes out of an incident that recently occurred here in Washington. Some of our readers may have already heard about the Seattle man who went to the police after receiving two packages containing marijuana. His predicament raised the important question: is it legal to mail pot to residents in Washington?

Even though it is legal for an adult in our state to have possession of a small amount of marijuana, sending it through the mail, even to another resident within the state, could land someone in trouble with the law. That's because marijuana is still viewed as illegal by the federal government, which means sending marijuana through a federally run mail system could be seen as trafficking and lead to serious criminal drug charges.

Even sending packages via private mail carriers such as UPS or FedEx could lead to legal consequences. That's because many of these services have special policies in place that prohibit their carriers from shipping items that are deemed illegal by federal, state or local law. And even though marijuana is legal here in Washington, our state laws prohibit the delivery of the drug unless it is done so to and on the retail premises of a licensed marijuana retailer.

Reports do not clearly explain whether the Seattle man in the case above originally sent the packages or whether he received them by mistake. If he was not the person who originally sent the packages then he may not face drug charges down the road. But if police believe he had, then the investigation could get complicated, especially because the first package was disposed of by the man and the second package, which was given to police, was sent to the department's evidence unit to be destroyed.

Sources: KIRO-TV News, "Hey, Mr. Postman! Stop the pot!" The Associated Press, April 1, 2014

FindLaw Blotter, "Is It Legal to Mail Marijuana?" Brett Snider, Esq, July 8, 2013

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.


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Named a "rising star" in criminal defense by Washington Law and Politics magazine, Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor for King County who uses his insight into prosecution strategies to protect his clients' rights in criminal court.