The United States Postal Service has sent out a memo to newspaper publishers in a US state stating they must not mail any publications containing advertisements for marijuana – including medical cannabis.
Even if the medicinal cannabis comes from a licensed dispensary; the ban still applies.
According to the memo:
“If an advertisement advocates the purchase of clinical marijuana through a Medical Marijuana dispensary, it does not comply with USC 21 843(c).”
USC 21 843(c) in part states:
“It shall be unlawful for any person to place in any newspaper, magazine, handbill, or other publications, any written advertisement knowing that it has the purpose of seeking or offering illegally to receive, buy, or distribute a Schedule  I controlled substance. ”
In the USA, cannabis is classified as Schedule I from the federal perspective; equivalent to Schedule 9 in Australia – our most restrictive classification. However, medicinal cannabis is legally available in some states.
While USC 21 843(c) states “offering illegally”; it seems the warning has newspapers concerned that mailing of their publications could be banned should they ignore the tap on the shoulder.
The memo also states, “If an advertisement solicits the mailing of controlled substances such as marijuana, it would violate USPS standards.”
The memo was sent to newspaper publishers in Oregon, where legal recreational marijuana sales began two months ago and its medical cannabis program launched way back in 1998.
It’s understood USPS has been contacted concerning the memo that some say is an outdated interpretation of the law.
With medical marijuana now available in many states and even cannabis for recreational use legal in some (such as Oregon); the U.S. national scene is becoming quite a complex one with conflicting rules and regulations. In one state it may be perfectly fine to possess medical cannabis, but step over the border and it can be an offence punishable by a jail term.
Perhaps the Australian government has picked up on this scenario – yesterday the Federal Government announced local cultivation of cannabis for medicinal or scientific purposes will be carried out in Australia under uniform guidelines across the country instead of letting the states create their own regulations. While this is in relation to cultivation only, it could be a sign of things to come with regard to use of medicinal cannabis in Australia in its various forms.