According to information obtained by Denver7, the number of mail packages containing cannabis sent from or sent to Colorado last year is on the rise and actually set a record for the number of packages in CO seized by the feds because they had marijuana in them.

In 2012, feds seized 234 packages with marijuana in Colorado; by 2015 that number had increased to 542 and in 2017 that number climbed to a record 934 packages.

“U.S. Postal Inspectors continue to aggressively target individuals who use the postal service to distribute controlled substances,” Dana Carter, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Denver Division, said in a press release. “Our efforts to protect the nation’s mail, and postal customers, from illegal drug shipments are highlighted in cases such as these, where repeat offenders are sent to federal prison.”

As I mentioned in an article last week, states that still have marijuana prohibition act as magnets for marijuana coming from states where sales are legal, due to the economic incentives that prohibition creates. If illegal dealers can buy marijuana for a lower price in Colorado and then send it to a state where they can get a much higher price, a certain percentage of them will run the risk in hopes of big profits.

The incentives for someone to mail marijuana TO Colorado are a little less easy to grasp, and since the article doesn’t split the numbers up in regards to from CO vs. to CO, it’s hard to know just how many packages fall in the latter category.

As for stopping these activities, only legalization in other states will bring down the frequency of packages of marijuana being sent in the mail. After all, why would you need cannabis mailed to you if you can go a couple miles and buy it legally? Another route, of course, is to spend enough resources to bring about a massive crackdown on people mailing marijuana. Drug-sniffing dogs in every post office and massive sentences for anyone caught. This course of action might snare enough people to make the risk too great for most dealers, but if we’ve learned anything from prohibition, it’s that no matter what the risk, if the profits are great enough, there is someone willing to take that risk.

And since restricting supply always makes prices – and therefore profits – go up, a never-ending cycle of busts and price hikes is set up, drawing ever more illegal dealers into the business that is being prohibited.