US Postal Service Says Mailing Marijuana Ads Is Illegal

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Mail those cards now: Post office deadline is near.

PORTLAND, Ore. If you’re looking to pick up a hoverboard for the holiday season, you might not want to use the United States Postal Service to ship it to a friend or loved one. Though you’ll still be able to send them through the mail, your options are going to be a bit more limited as a result of some models’ tendency to…burst into flames when charging or being ridden. “Out of an abundance of caution and in line with major retailers and the airline industry, the Postal Service is limiting the domestic shipping of mailable motorized balance boards, or hover boards, that contain lithium batteries,” reads a statement from the USPS. “Effective immediately and until further notice, USPS will ship hover boards using only Standard Post/Parcel Select.

Postal Service has issued a statement saying it’s illegal to mail material with marijuana advertising but added that local postal officials cannot refuse to accept mail that may violate federal policy. The US Postal Service grounded the popular self-balancing tech toy following numerous reports of the devices catching fire due to the lithium batteries inside. The agency issued the statement after members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation pressed the U.S. postmaster general for a “detailed explanation” of a postal service policy prohibiting mailing material that contains marijuana advertising. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issuing a strong warning on Wednesday to those thinking of purchasing one, with concerns there are “no safety standard in place for hoverboards” according to CPSC Chairman Elliot F. The decision is the latest reaction to a growing safety crisis in the hoverboard industry, created when unscrupulous importers and corner-cutting Chinese factories rushed to get millions of hoverboards to consumers in the US, UK, and other markets.

That said, if you already have a hoverboard and are looking it to bring back home to show off to your family and friends for the holidays, you might want to rethink your plans there, too. Retailers, e-commerce sites, and transportation providers have started banning some models of the popular Christmas gift, or refusing to carry them, following continued reports of hoverboards exploding, and at times burning down houses. According to CNN, a number of major air carriers have banned hoverboards in your checked luggage and as a carry-on item due to their potential issues. That same law also prohibits placing written ads for controlled substances like marijuana in newspapers, magazines or other publications. “These provisions express Congress’s judgment that the mail should not be used as a means of transmitting advertisements for the sale of marijuana, even if that sale is allowed under state law,” Marshall wrote. Some hoverboard manufacturers in China are selling units with fake batteries, a sales manager from one of the biggest manufactures in Shenzhen told Quartz last week. “There are some factories right now that will say they use Samsung batteries but don’t,” he said. “They wrap a piece of paper around the battery that says ‘Samsung’ when it’s not Samsung.” Retailers and shippers have taken strong action in the last week.

CPSC has received dozens of reports of injuries from hospital ERs that we have contracts with and they continue to feed us real-time data,” Kaye added. “Some of these injuries have been serious, including concussions, fractures, contusions/abrasions, and internal organ injuries. Amazon once let nearly any importer or manufacturer list hoverboards for sale, but week scrubbed its listings, and told vendors they needed to prove their products had passed safety tests. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley called the agency’s stance uncompromising and said they want federal authorities to respect decisions made by Oregonians, who last year voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use. The USPS’ decision means that anyone who wants guaranteed delivery of a hoverboard in time for Christmas will have to opt for a private carrier, like FedEx, which still has no restrictions on shipping them.

But, she added, “This is new advertising and none of them currently rely on it to stay in business.” Some outlets — like two dozen newspapers in the Pamplin Media Group — have already decided not to run pot ads, but for a completely different reason: because they don’t promote health. In addition to Oregon, the policy also impacts the states of Washington, Colorado and Alaska, where voters legalized recreational marijuana in recent years, as well as other states where medical marijuana is legal.

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