Can You Mail Weed Legally in Mississippi?
No. Although Mississippi decriminalized the use of weed in small quantities and approved medical marijuana for qualifying individuals, mailing weed across state lines is illegal. Under federal drug laws, shipping marijuana qualifies as trafficking. Consequently, it is illegal to mail marijuana via the US Postal Service or through third-party agencies. Under Mississippi law, the sale, transportation, distribution, exchange, and transfer of cannabis is an offense punishable by incarceration and fines.
What Are the Penalties for Transporting Edibles Across State Lines in Mississippi?
Edibles are food products that contain marijuana. These products come in various forms, including baked goods, chocolates, candies, lozenges, and beverages. US Federal law prohibits transporting any mixtures or substances containing detectable amounts of marijuana. The law prescribes the offense and penalties for mailing edibles as follows:
- 1,000 kilograms or more: The individual faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The court may impose fines of up to $10,000,000.00 for individuals and $50,000,000.00 for offenders other than individuals.
- 100 kilograms to less than 1,000 kilograms: Persons caught face prison time of 5 - 40 years and fines not exceeding $5,000,000.00 for individuals, or $25,000,000.00 if not an individual.
- 50 kilograms to 100 kilograms: Accused persons face penalties of between 5 to 20 years in jail and fines not more than $250,000.00 for an individual or $1,000,000.00 for offenders other than an individual.
- Less than 50 kilograms of edible marijuana: Persons arrested face jail time of up to 5 years and a fine of up to $250,000.00 for an individual, or $1,000,000.00 if not an individual.
The jail time increases significantly if the crime involves bodily injury or death. In addition, the respective penalties double if the recipient of the edibles is a minor.
How to Get a Drug Trafficking Charge Dismissed in Mississippi
It is possible to beat a marijuana trafficking charge and avoid jail time in Mississippi. A good defense can use the following arguments to dismiss charges:
- Ownership: The defense can assert that the individual was unaware of the drugs and that the drugs do not belong to the accused. Law enforcement officers must prove otherwise for the charge to hold.
- Insanity: The defense can claim mental defect and prove that the accused did not understand their actions when they transported the marijuana.
- Entrapment: The defense can argue that the defendant only engaged in the drug trafficking offense due to inducement or coercion from a law enforcement officer.
- Necessity and Duress: The defense must prove that the trafficking was necessary to prevent the occurrence of more serious harm. Proof can also show that the defendant did the act for fear of personal or a loved one’s safety.
- Lack of knowledge: A judge can dismiss a drug trafficking charge if the defense proves that the accused did not know they were trafficking drugs.
- Due documentation and process: This is usable if the police did not have the proper documentation to conduct a search. Also, the defense can get the charge dismissed if the police did not follow due process, such as reading the individual their rights before making the arrest.
- Assisting the Investigation: In exchange for a lighter sentence or dismissed charges, the accused can cooperate with law enforcement officers by offering valuable information about the drug trafficking ring.
- Intention: Here, the individual can prove that the drugs were for personal consumption rather than distribution. However, this may only reduce the charge from trafficking to possession.
The penalties for trafficking other controlled substances are different from marijuana trafficking. Penalties may be more or less severe depending on the substance and specifics of the offense.
Drug Trafficking Facts in Mississippi
As per Mississippi Code 41-29-139, drug trafficking involves any of the following:
- The sale, distribution, exchange, and manufacture of a controlled substance, or possession with intent to sell, transfer, manufacture, or distribute the substance.
- Selling, distributing, manufacturing, exchanging, transferring, or dispensing 500 grams or more of a Schedule 3, 4, or 5 controlled substance.
- Possessing at least 30 grams of a Schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance with the intention to sell, distribute, manufacture, exchange, or dispense it.
- Possessing over 500 grams of a Schedule 3, 4, or 5 controlled substance with the aim of selling, transporting, exchanging, manufacturing, dispensing, or transferring it.
- Possessing at least 200 grams of a Schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance, excluding marijuana and synthetic cannabis.
All drug trafficking violations in Mississippi are felonies. However, these offenses are less severe than aggravated drug trafficking charges, which attract a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life, and fines of up to $1,000,000.00.
The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN) safeguards its citizens against illegal drug sales and trafficking. The US Drug Enforcement Administration also works with state law enforcement officers to tackle drug trafficking organizations and high-intensity drug trafficking areas in the state.
According to an MBN Drug Threat Assessment published in 2020, the most commonly used and trafficked drug in Mississippi is marijuana. During the period covered, law enforcement officers made 79 seizures from drug traffickers, totaling almost 2,000 pounds, with marijuana accounting for over half of the confiscated drugs.
How Many Grams of Weed Is Considered Trafficking in Mississippi?
One kilogram of marijuana or 200 grams of synthetic cannabis. Mississippi state law describes trafficking as the sale, distribution, manufacture, or possession with intent to sell, exchange, distribute, manufacture, or dispense one kilogram of marijuana.
Marijuana trafficking and drug trafficking laws are strict and attract similar penalties. A conviction in both cases attracts a minimum jail time of 10 years and a maximum of 40 years. In addition, the courts may require fines not exceeding $1,000,000.00 but not below $5,000.00, depending on the severity of the case. Also, the individual will not be eligible for probation or parole.
What Are the Weed Trafficking Consequences in Mississippi?
Mississippi code prescribes the penalties for trafficking weed as follows:
- 30 grams or less: Jail time of up to three years and fines not exceeding $3,000.00.
- 30 - 250 grams: Maximum jail time of five years and fines of up to $5,000.00.
- 250 - 500 grams: 3 -10 years jail sentence and fines not exceeding $15,000.00.
- 500 - 1000 grams: Jail time of 5 - 20 years and fines of up to $25,000.00.
Mississippi Code 41-29-139 prohibits persons at least 21 years old from intentionally distributing marijuana to persons under 21. Also, Section 41-29-142 prohibits marijuana trafficking within 1,500 feet of a public or private elementary school building, vocational or secondary school, church, public park, youth center, movie theater, or public gymnasium. A violation of either section doubles the incarceration period and fine of the original crime if committed more than 1,500 away from the restricted areas.
How to Transport Weed Legally in Mississippi
In Mississippi, an individual can legally transport medical marijuana by obtaining a license from the Mississippi State Department of Health. The application to transport weed legally should include all information requested by the department, including the proposed location and fees. The license is valid for one owner and must be renewed annually.
The holder of a medical marijuana transportation license must ensure that the product meets the state’s packaging and labeling requirements, including the following:
- All packages must carry the Mississippi Universal symbol.
- Packaging must not be visually appealing to minors.
- All license holders must ensure that the containers with medical marijuana are child-resistant, resealable, opaque, and fully enclosed.
- Packages must have warnings visible on the product package.
- The product labeling must not carry the Department of Health’s logo.
- Edible cannabis labels must contain the total THC in a single serving size.
- A label for usable medical cannabis should contain the cannabis name, batch number, the weight of contents, ingredients, nutritional facts, expiry date, and length of time it takes for the product to take effect.
The law also proposes some restrictions. License holders must not:
- Display their product in public view.
- Use coupons, discounts, or other sales promotion methods.
- Promote non-medical marijuana use.