A new letter from the Postal Service’s general counsel in Washington, D.C., directs postal carriers nationwide to report cannabis advertisements to law enforcement. The letter calls the ads “non-mailable” because of the federal government’s ongoing prohibition under the Controlled Substances Act.
It’s still not clear whether authorities will actually punish individuals or businesses that attempt to mail cannabis ads. Even if the USPS files a report, it would be up to law enforcement’s discretion whether to file charges. In states that have legalized medical or recreational use, federal prosecutors could simply ignore the matter.
Regardless, the USPS warning has already prompted at least one newspaper to drop its cannabis ads. The Chinook Observer, which received a USPS warning memo last month, has removed the ads from mailed editions of the paper. Those subscriptions make up about half its circulation, Steve Forrester, CEO of the Observer’s Oregon-based parent company, told Leafly.