"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Newspapers with marijuana ads can't be mailed, feds warn

Post Office Ignores the 1st Amendment

(The Oregonian)  -  The U.S. Postal Service has warned newspapers that it is a felony to mail material that includes marijuana advertising.
The Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association forwarded the recent federal advisory to its 100 or so members this week. The group's executive director said the association "strongly discourages" Oregon newspapers that rely on the U.S. mail for delivery from accepting "any type of marijuana advertising."
"It is against the law," Laurie Hieb wrote in an email to Oregon newspaper executives this week. "Unfortunately, ONPA cannot do anything about this."
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.
The Long Beach paper has a circulation of about 4,400; about 2,560 subscribers receive the newspapers via the U.S. mail, said Steve Forrester, president of the EO Media Group, which publishes 11 newspapers, including those in Long View and Astoria. Forrester is also publisher and editor of the Daily Astorian.
Meanwhile the multi-national drug corporations, who have purchased
politicians with their campaign cash, legally run TV ads 24-7 urging
people to become addicted to their products. 

Forrester said he reached out to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., for more information about the federal directive. He said he is waiting for more information before deciding whether to continue to run marijuana ads.
"We haven't set a long-term strategy," he said. "We can't until we know more."
Hieb said she's received many calls about the advisory, which she said "has created more confusion than clarity."
The document, dated Nov. 27, warns that the U.S. Postal Service prohibits mailing material that contains marijuana advertisements. The policy cites marijuana's status as a Schedule I controlled substance and says it is "unlawful to place an ad in any publication with the purpose of seeking or offering illegally to receive buy or distribute a Schedule I controlled substance."
The prohibition applies to advertisements for marijuana sold at medical marijuana dispensaries.
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