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Stop Sending Me Weed Through the Mail

Only, unlike the rest of those shackled in servitude, I’d venture to say that my job probably doesn’t suck nearly as bad. My job is freelance writing. I also serve as the correspondent and the smut for several national publications, including this one. There’s no one at the office where I work to hassle me if I show up late, walk around without pants or use the crapper eight times before 9 am. Also, this means I’m the king of my castle. This also means that I am fully responsible for the whole damn kingdom: Rent, bills, and any legal matters that may come up, that’s all on me, pal. No one is going in to rescue me if I’m in trouble. 

Don’t get me wrong, though. You have many perks. One of the perks is free weed. Public relations agencies are always sending me the latest, greatest pot products in hopes that I’ll give them a rave review. Every week, I receive a variety of packages. It’s like Christmas all year round. Sometimes it’s a brand-spanking new, expensive smoking device—not yet released to the public—other times it’s CBD, and often enough it’s marijuana. This may sound like a great deal, but all the complimentary cannabis can be a little trouble for me. For starters, I live in the prohibition state of Indiana—getting caught with a small amount can lead to thousands of dollars in fines and jail time. It’s also a federal drug offense to get cannabis through the U.S. mail, a felony, so Uncle Sam could bend me over big time. 

But when I sat down at my desk last Thursday morning, I didn’t anticipate any such trouble. My only concern with the holiday season rapidly approaching was to get all of my assignments submitted before the editors closed their email and took off the remainder of the year. With no time to waste I quickly drank a large amount of caffeine before getting started on my typing.

My tendency is to become distracted, as with many writers. In between thoughts, I sometimes jump on social media and see what’s going on in the world. The independent news watchdog, based in my home town, monitors scanner traffic in real time and reports on incidents. It is one of the pages I keep track of. It’s usually a lot of “shots fired,” crackheads taking dumps in public, and unruly McDonald’s customers, that sort of thing. It’s more entertainment than news. I was intrigued by something that caught my eyes as I read the page. According to the most recent report, FedEx was on its way to FedEx in an effort to find marijuana packages. At first, I didn’t think anything of it, other than “Oh man, somebody is in deep shit.” But then, it hit me. 

How would it be if you were the one who received the package? 

“Yikes,” I thought, sending the link over to my significant other to gauge her reaction. 

“Is it possible they’re coming for me?” I asked. 

“Yes,” she replied. “Definitely.” 

You could even imagine that I was in deep shit.

As you can see, I was on alert. A search warrant was issued by the police to my office. I would be going straight to prison if they showed up. There’s enough weed in this place (from all of those public relations packages) to get me jammed up in the criminal courts for a long time. Let’s see, there’s flower, concentrates, edibles, you name it; it’s in my possession. I could start a small dispensary if this writing gig doesn’t pan out. These shady cops will storm into my home on a mission for pot after pot. I’d be sitting in a police cruiser within five minutes of answering the door, en route to the Vanderburgh County jail to spend a very long weekend camping out with petty miscreants and alleged murders. I’d have to make up some ridiculous story, too, on why I was arrested to keep the ruffians from trying to steal my blanket. Considering all the violence and madness that has erupted lately in the United States, pot offenses just aren’t respected in the slammer like the old days. 

I’d surely be fighting in a cell, in court come Monday and probably for years to come as I paid steep fines, enduring drug classes and everything else the system would put me through to teach me a lesson. It was overwhelming. I mean, I’ve been to jail enough times to know that it’s no place for me. It was hard to believe that police would be standing in front of a FedEx warehouse and looking at a marijuana package with MIKE ADAMS marked as its recipient. They also had an address that would direct them to my home. It was time to end the jig. I always knew there’d come a time when I’d either have to flee the country or kill myself to escape one of the buried indiscretions of my past. I just didn’t think that day would come so soon. What can I do? What could I do to help? As far as I knew, I was a sitting duck. 

But I wasn’t going to just sit around and wait for the cops to show up and have their way with me. I’d been there before. If they actually found marijuana packages at FedEx and my name was on them, I understood that it would require a search warrant. I just wasn’t sure how much convincing a judge would need to sign off on it. Working in my favor was the fact that the cops didn’t know that I knew they were onto me. My tip had gone out. For an indeterminate time I held the advantage. To keep that in mind I decided to ensure that, if they came knocking on my door, they would have to do damn good to get me out of there. It was not too difficult for me to get out of the hole that my dimwitted public relation agent had dug. It wasn’t like I was getting any work done anyway. Although I typically don’t suffer from writer’s block, it has a way of striking when all you can ponder is that a convoy of police cars and SWAT trucks are hauling ass toward you with loaded weapons. They might kick the door down when I arrived so I stopped writing. Instead, I tried my best to devise a strategy to prevent being detained. 

Then, eat! Mission ImpossibleTheme song now 

After putting all of the pot from the office in a big box, I started to look for other places where it could be hidden. My office shares a building with other businesses. So, while I considered stashing it in the utility closet down the hall, that probably wasn’t the best option. It could be found by the cleaning lady who would either take it home or call the police. I couldn’t risk luring them any closer than they already were. The tiles were so bad that I considered putting them up in a box and moving the tile to the roof. This was likely where the cops first looked. They could have even got my dogs involved. They’d be howling like they just reached Pablo Escobar’s house as soon as they pulled up in the parking lot. It was not true. If I wanted to live the day without being arrested, staying out of jail, and making it home for dinner was my only option. 

Phase two was completed and I am now ready to move on. Deep Shit. 

I tossed the box in the trunk of my car, but not without first scanning the parking lot to make sure police didn’t have me under surveillance. The box was then removed from my car and I set out on an adventure to regain the freedom which had been taken away. It was simple. Park along the side of the road near my house—a mile away from my office—walk back and play dumb. That way when the cops showed up flashing a search warrant, I wouldn’t have a panic attack and they wouldn’t find jack shit. However, I needed to make it happen first. I was already nervous and I drove like I had something to hide. 

My eyes would be filled with suspicion if I was caught by a cop. He might see me carrying either a corpse in my trunk, or a huge pot box. My attempts at being casual failed miserably. To avoid hitting squirrels, I stopped at two green lights; I used the wrong turn signal for left and drove much slower than an elderly driver. My goal was to be a drug smuggler, but I wouldn’t make it. But I managed to make it to the destination. Although I considered setting the car ablaze before returning to work, I decided that it was too risky. I didn’t need an arson charge on top of the one I was going to get for drug trafficking. My mind spun as I walked back towards my imminent doom. I was overwhelmed at all possible outcomes, even though my mind was already a step ahead.

They were likely to ask about the location of my car. My home address would be required by the cops. If they came up empty handed at the office—and they were going to—their next move, aside from bending me over the desk and strapping on some latex gloves to see if my colon contained any weed or weapons, might be to raid the house. Cops hate to fail and if there’s any chance they can spend the day busting someone for a drug-related offense rather than dangerous, violent criminals, that’s what they’ll do. The search warrant was what was going to be a problem for them. The search warrant would be limited to my office. They’d have to get another one with the location of my home on it, if they had any intention of ripping apart my underwear drawer. This was something I’d have to take care of when it came.   

For the moment, I took solace in knowing that there wouldn’t be any illegal substances in my office if and when the cops started poking around. Still, all the time I was running around town trying to avoid getting locked up, I couldn’t help but think, Why is it that I am trying to throw police off my path like Joe Pesci at Casino when the public relations companies are responsible for sending me marijuana? These companies sent me weed by mail and suddenly I was at serious risk of being arrested. I was innocent! It was me! I didn’t want to continue paranoia! Aaron’s been getting real-deal cannabis outlaws out of trouble for years. It was Aaron who would stop cops climbing up my throat. His advice: If the postmaster calls, or if the cops show up at the office door, don’t say a word. As long as the sender or recipient doesn’t fess up, they have no case.

“They can’t do anything or prove anything if you don’t fucking talk,” Pelley told me. “So, all you have to do is shut up. It’s not a complicated situation because they can’t prove that you knew or should have known cannabis was coming to you. There’s been some situations where they’ve put cameras in the package so they can see the person open it. What the hell? I don’t know where people get the idea that that would somehow implicate that you knew or should have known cannabis was being shipped. I suppose after you open it, if you say ‘awesome, they sent me the weed I asked for,’ but none of that ever actually happens. I’ve had people shipping basketball sized amounts of weed and getting it intercepted. And as long as everybody didn’t respond to anyone, including the senders, nothing ever happened. They can’t necessarily prove the sender sent it and they don’t want to go through the trouble of pulling video footage for prosecutors.”

Pelley claims Uncle Sam is rarely involved in sending or receiving marijuana through the mail, even though it’s a federal crime. He’s only known one incident where they sent in the hounds, and it was for a four-foot-tall pallet of weed. As for the local cops looking to get a pot bust, “nobody is home,” Pelley asserts. “Local cops want headlines. But it’s a federal crime that has mandatory minimums. Prison time,” he continued. “That said, if people don’t respond to the communications (from the postmaster or the police), the burden of proof is quite heavy, and the interest is quite low.”

Over the next 2 days I was a bit paranoid. It was obvious that those scumbags would show up at any time and offer me a cannabis colonoscopy. It wasn’t until the following Sunday that I stumbled across a news article from one of my local television stations showing that $180,000 worth of marijuana (90 pounds) was found in my hometown. The marijuana had been transported from California to Evansville and was held in the custody of Hua Hou. They were looking for her and not me. Their headline was published. After feeling scared for many days, I felt some relief that somebody else was living with me and blanket-thieving felons. However, if Pelley’s statement was accurate, I was able to begin to think, and my interest was low. So why was the woman being arrested? “Ninety pounds is a lot of weed,” he said. “I suspect that she picked up the packages and got busted, and then she probably sung,” Pelley added, saying that she would have had a leg to stand on if she had just lawyered up and stayed quiet.

Police need to be able to speak. 

“Even if it’s true that you didn’t have any idea that weed was coming, you don’t have control of the narrative,” Pelley explained. “The cop can write down anything he wants. If the only thing a cop can write down is that they exercised their right to remain silent and asked for an attorney, they’ll have to figure out their evidence from there. Their job is made much more difficult if they don’t talk. But it gets a lot easier as soon as you start talking.”

As for me, I wasn’t saying shit!

Yet, I believed I was entitled to restitution for my pain and suffering. Maybe the public relations agencies owed me money for almost being made the scapegoat of their misfortunes. I must have lost five years of my life because of this whole thing. Now I have Postal Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I’ll have to ask Aaron about a lawsuit. Stop sending me money through the mail. And if you do—again, don’t—make it a reasonable amount.

“They’re not looking for one ounce of weed,” Pelley demands.