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Newspaper Pot Ad Flap

A Nov. 27 notice mailed out by the U.S. Postal Service warns that if a "mailpiece" contains ads for marijuana it is "nonmailable."

 

This has some Oregon newspapers that accept legal pot ads concerned, particularly rural papers that are primarily mailed. According to The Oregonian, "It's not clear what prompted the warning, which was hand-delivered Monday by a Washington postal official to the Chinook Observer, a Long Beach, Wash., newspaper. The newspaper and the Daily Astorian distribute a weekly tab called Coast Weekend, which runs advertisements from a Long Beach dispensary and Oregon Coast dispensaries."

Members of Oregon's congressional delegation responded in a letter to the Postmaster, asking, among other things, if the policy is being enforced in all 50 states and what discretion a regional postmaster has, what authority does the Postal Service have to regulate the advertising of legal marijuana, if the ads aren't promising to mail any marijuana? How will the Postal Service enforce the rule when Congress prohibited the U.S. Department of Justice from spending any money prosecuting federal marijuana crimes in states that have legalized weed?

Finally, Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley, Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer ask if the Postal Service cooperateed “with anyone at DEA or DOJ in establishing this policy?" and if it did the “please detail the nature of the cooperation."