By Marc Emden, Esq.

With legalization of marijuana in places like Colorado and its decriminalization elsewhere, more marijuana is now being shipped through the U.S. mail than in recent years, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, whose seizures of marijuana parcels have increased by more than 400 percent since 2007. Traffickers use commonplace objects to conceal the drugs. In fact, traffickers are using soup and paints cans, trash receptacles and other products to conceal the shipments. Drug smugglers have also recently used shipments of frozen goat meat, salt and pepper shakers, jukeboxes, garden hoses, bras, wigs and even a live dog as places of concealment.

In turn, the Postal Service has been forced to accelerate their detection efforts to try to gain ground on the drug industry, which seems to possess a ready supply of marijuana to keep up with the country’s need to smoke it.

The actual street value depends upon demand, which differs in various geographic locations.

Recently, the process gave rise to arrest 4 men on drug traffic charges in Maryland. The four allegedly had large shipments of marijuana sent from California and Oregon. These parcels of varying weight were sent to various locations in Maryland.  These parcels amounted to 85 pounds over a three-month period.

Maryland has enacted a Drug Kingpin law which provides for a mandatory 5 years in prison for someone convicted of distribution 50 pounds or more of marijuana or 448 grams of cocaine. The police can add the amount of the shipments together if they were shipped within a 90-day period. In addition, someone convicted 4 times for this offense must serve 40 years in jail!