There was once a time when some exasperating tactics had to be employed to buy marijuana in the United States. If you were lucky enough to have a direct line of contact with a weed hookup, sometimes this still meant waiting around for an indeterminate amount of time before a bag of dope was in hand. But if your connection was one of those deals in which a friend knew of a guy that had a cousin whose little brother used to go to school with some dude that, from time to time, could get his hands on weed from the neighbor across the street, then finding pot was a full-time job.
These days, Marijuana is legal in a handful of states across the nation. This means adults 21 and over in some parts can now drive over to their local weed store and buy a variety of pot products like they have done for decades with beer. There is no waiting around, no more lame excuses, just pay and puff. However, the situation is still far from perfect on the national front. Since the federal government still considers cannabis a Schedule I dangerous drug – in the same rank as heroin — many states have not yet pulled out of the prohibition standard and freed the leaf in this way.
But what if we told you there were online marijuana retailers that would not only ship pot to anywhere in the country (legal or not, it doesn’t matter) but they would do it without verifying the age of the customer?
Well, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, this sort of thing is happening all of the time.
It seems that “millions of Americans” are scouring the Internet for weed delivery services and getting pot products delivered right to their doors, regardless of whether they live in a legal state or not.
An analysis of Google searches from 2005 to 2017 shows that more people are searching for online weed services than ever before. Somewhere around 2.4 million people per month use searches that combine words like “marijuana,” “cannabis,” “weed” and “pot” with the terms “buy,” “shop” or “order.” These searches are supposedly turning up pot retailers willing to sell and ship marijuana to anywhere in the country.
The consensus, or least as far as this study is concerned, is that many online reefer slingers are breaking the law by selling outside their legal jurisdiction and then using the United States Postal Service (USPS) and UPS to ship weed across state lines. And this is putting pot into the hands of young people, which is exactly the opposite of what cannabis advocates promised would happen post legalization.
“Anyone, including teenagers, can search for and buy marijuana from their smartphone regardless of what state they live in,” lead researcher John W. Ayers said in a statement.
However, the study does not paint an accurate portrait of what is actually happening in the world of online weed commerce. None of the marijuana delivery services (Eaze, Weedmaps, BlackbirdGo, Nugg) that popped up after BroBible searched “buy marijuana online delivered” permitted weed to be shipped to any state where it was prohibited by law. Enter an Indiana address and the website tells you, “It appears you live outside our delivery area” or something to that effect.
Sending marijuana through the mail is considered drug trafficking in the eyes of the federal government, so legitimate cannabis firms are not likely to engage in this practice. All of the sites we tested didn’t.
Not even in legal states like Colorado or California can a customer get marijuana delivered through the mail. There are cannabis delivery services available, but most of these transactions are facilitated through private or internal couriers.
During our search, however, some companies did provide customers in areas of prohibition with the option of purchasing products consisting of cannabidiol (CBD) – the non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant. This is not a big deal. Hemp-derived CBD products (.03 percent THC) are considered legal in all 50 states and, in most cases, they are shipped nationwide without issue. So yes, you can buy CBD online.
So, it is a stretch to suggest that “anyone, including teenagers” can get marijuana delivered to their door, no matter if they reside in a legal state or not. Sure, people living in areas of prohibition can search online for marijuana shops all day long – they can even browse products, set up accounts and all of that other fun stuff. But getting a fat sack of Blue Dream delivered to their door just isn’t happening unless they live in a legal state and can prove they are of old enough to buy.
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