Canada Post says pot busts up to cops
VANCOUVER -- Canada Post is in the business of delivering mail, not inspecting its contents, a spokesman said yesterday when asked about a Vancouver-based Internet business that bills itself as "Canada's premium mail-order marijuana delivery service." John Caines, who saw the "Bud Buddy" website after a media tipoff Friday, said while the instructions given are "a giveaway" and it appears "suspicious," it is up to the police to determine whether it's illegal.
"It is not up to Canada Post to shut it down," said Caines, Canada Post's Ottawa-based manager of national media relations.
"Canada Post is not a law-enforcement agency. Our job is to pick up and deliver, that's what we do."
But if any illegal activities are brought to its attention, it would notify the authorities, he said.
"Just because they have a website does not mean they are using the mail illegally," he added.
Caines said it is against the Canada Post Act to open any mail under 500 grams unless there is reason to believe the mail contains something illegal or "undeliverable" - like tobacco, alcohol, corrosives or explosives.
He said yesterday he wouldn't know until today what action, if any, the post office will take on the matter.
Bud Buddy's website promises to "provide fast, discreet service and high-quality marijuana products - always clean, well-cured, tasty and potent."
It only accepts orders from within Canada, insists that payment be made by cash or money order and asks customers to wrap bills in a few sheets of paper so they are not visible through an envelope. Orders are addressed to "Buddy Boy" and sent to a box number in Coal Harbour.
"If sending a money order: Always leave the 'Pay To' area blank, and keep the receipt in case there is a problem with the mail," the instructions on the site reads.
"Send your order form and payment via regular mail or Canada Post Xpresspost only. Do not send by Fedex, UPS or other courier. Also do not send by registered mail or anything we'd have to sign for," it goes on.
And customers sending a large quantity of cash in the mail are urged to send their orders by Canada Post Xpresspost, which it says is trackable, "plus faster and safer than regular mail."
Caines said marijuana authorized by Health Canada and intended for legal recipients does go in the regular mail stream but regulations require that such mail is not identifiable by any markings.
The website, which says its products are sent out discreetly - "I use vacuum-sealing to eliminate smell"- asks customers not to use a pseudonym on return addresses.
"If you must use a pseudonym, don't use a jokey or pot-related one, like "I.M. Stoned" or "John Ashcroft."
Messages left with the Vancouver police department yesterday were not returned.
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