A new report has confirmed that United States Postal Service Inspectors were busy tracking down Colorado marijuana packages that were being sent to and from the state in 2016.
According to Denver7, the number of Colorado marijuana packages has risen every year since 2012, with 2016 being the highest year yet.
In 2012, USPS Inspectors intercepted 234 packages containing marijuana, which jumped to 410 in 2014 and then 805 in 2016.
Gathering the data was time consuming as it took postal inspectors one year to present their findings to Denver7 Investigates, the team that originally filed a “federal open records request under FOIA” for the information.
“It’s a big increase,” said Eric Manuel, a Denver-based U.S. Postal Inspector.
Manuel confirmed that a number of Colorado marijuana packages used the USPS to ship within the state from city to city.
“It’s still illegal to mail because you’re using the federal mail system and marijuana is prohibited at the federal level,” Manuel explained.
Some packages were mailed to states other than Colorado, and Manuel credits that to people, mainly tourists, not understanding that the drug is still illegal federally.
“We’ve also seen people traveling for what we call pot tourism,” Manuel said. “Some of those people come to Colorado, buy their marijuana for personal use and ship it home. We want to let people know, ‘Don’t come to Colorado and mail your drugs back home.’”
According to USPS Inspectors, people often try to mask the smell of marijuana by packing coffee beans alongside the substance.
“I’ll tell you I’ve seen so many ways attempted and fail because we’re able to use a lot of investigative techniques to identify these packages,” Manuel said.
With 2017 having just ended, numbers for the past year are not yet accessible.