Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jan 2016
Source: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
Copyright: 2016 The Oregonian
Author: Noelle Crombie


Members of Oregon's congressional delegation this week asked the U.S. 
postmaster general for a "detailed explanation" of a postal service 
policy prohibiting mailing material that contains marijuana advertising.

Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Reps. Earl Blumenauer and 
Suzanne Bonamici -- all Democrats -- signed the letter to Megan J. 
Brennan, the U.S. postmaster general and CEO of the postal service.

The letter comes days after a regional postal service official warned 
a Washington newspaper owned by an Oregon company that it is a felony 
to mail material that includes marijuana advertising.

The Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association forwarded the 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'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 is owned by the EO Media Group.

The Oregon officials asked Brennan a range of questions about the 
directive regarding marijuana advertising, including whether the 
warning is a "USPS headquarters issued document that has legal effect 
in all 50 states."

"If not, is it customary for individual districts to create their own 
policies that may contradict how other districts are operating?" the 
officials asked. "What discretion does a regional postmaster have in 
enforcing or implementing these policies, specifically in states 
where marijuana is legal?"

The elected officials requested a clarification of the postal service policy.

Small businesses and newspapers, they wrote, "rely on advertising to 
be successful, and our interest is to ensure that these businesses 
have a clear understanding of the postal service policies regarding 
mailed advertisements for marijuana products so as not to violate the law."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom