You can shop online for groceries, clothes, electronics, and just about any other product you desire to purchase. You can order these products and have them delivered to your front door. Shopping online has become a convenient and efficient method of buying goods for many Americans.
However, there are things that you should not or cannot purchase online. Marijuana is one of those products. Mail-order weed continues to be illegal in all 50 states.
Why is Mail Order Marijuana Illegal?
Ohio has not legalized marijuana for recreational use. Even if the state does legalize marijuana, it would still be illegal to order weed online. Marijuana that travels across state laws and is delivered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) violates federal drug laws.
Marijuana continues to be a Schedule 1 drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Shipping illegal substances across state lines is a violation of interstate commerce laws. The act would be a federal crime.
Even though you might order weed from a legal retailer in a state where recreational marijuana is legal, it becomes illegal once it is shipped to Ohio. You are breaking federal law. You are also breaking Ohio marijuana laws.
Can I Use a Private Shipper to Order Weed Online?
Some people think they can get around federal drug laws by shipping marijuana through a private company like UPS or FedEx. However, this is not the case. You could still get into trouble if you try to ship marijuana through a private shipper.
Private shippers must abide by federal law. They are required to follow interstate commerce laws. Even though the shipper might state your order is private, that guarantee does not apply once the shipment is in the hands of a third party.
A private shipper is likely to cooperate with federal authorities during an investigation. The “privacy” the weed shipper guaranteed will mean nothing.
What Happens if I Order Marijuana Online?
If you order marijuana from an online company and ship it to Ohio, several things can happen. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) may open an investigation into the transfer of an illegal substance across state lines.
If you avoid federal drug crimes for ordering weed online, you face charges for violating state marijuana laws if you are caught with the substance in your possession. Recreational marijuana is illegal in Ohio. If you knowingly possess, obtain, or use marijuana in Ohio, you can be charged with possession of marijuana.
The seriousness of the drug offense depends on how much marijuana you have in your possession at the time of your arrest. Marijuana possession crimes include:
- Less than 100g is a minor misdemeanor
- Between 100g and 200g is a fourth-degree misdemeanor
- Between 201g and 999g is a fifth-degree felony
- Between 1,000g and 4,999g is a fourth-degree felony
- Between 5,000g and 19,999g is a third-degree felony
- More than 20,000g is a second-degree felony
It is important to remember that you could be charged with possession of marijuana, even though you might not have the substance in your physical possession.
You can be charged with constructive possession if you have access to the drugs. Therefore, shipping marijuana to your home could still be considered possession of an illegal substance, even if you are not caught with the marijuana on your person.
Can I Order Medical Marijuana Online?
Even though medical marijuana might be legal in Ohio, federal laws do not recognize medical marijuana as legal. Therefore, you can still face federal drug crimes, even though you might have a medical marijuana card in Ohio.
What is the Bottom Line About Ordering Weed Online?
Do not risk it. Retailers might guarantee that the weed is shipped in special packages and odor-proof bags that fool drug dogs and postal inspectors.
The USPS routinely holds packages if they are suspected of containing illegal substances, including marijuana. Law enforcement officers take control of the situation and allow the packages to be delivered as addressed.
However, once the package is delivered and accepted, the officers arrest the receiver on federal drug charges. Postal carriers will not give you any indication that a problem exists with the package.
Even though marijuana laws could change in Ohio, federal drug laws may never change. As long as marijuana remains a controlled substance at the federal level, it will remain illegal to ship weed across state lines or through the United States Postal Service.