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I've been trying to think of further ways I can help people out as far as being able to mail pot, and I guess one avenue I should touch on is what happens to a letter and what happens to a small parcel once it's in the mailstream. This has a good amount of bearing on how you should package whatever you're sending, because I think most people don't realize just how easily packages and letters get ripped up, broken open, become soggy and tears, etc.
First off let's talk about letter-mail. When you drop a letter off at your local post office or in your mailbox, it makes its way into automatic cancelling machines. These machines do almost everything automatically, from facing the mail upright, cancelling the stamp(s) on the letter, to sortation of the mail. Why this is pertinent is that most people don't realize that a photo is taken of almost EVERY letter passing through the mailstream. At up to 60 pieces per minute, each machine can take a picture of the letter, create a unique florescent id tag that is places on the lower-back of the letter, and it runs through OCR software to sort it automatically. Lots of people think you can just write "hand cancel" and that it won't make it through these machines. Think again. Basically if you DO place things in envelopes, such as seeds, be careful. I don't know why I haven't seen more torn-open letters from a certain canadian seed supplier, because their stealth method would almost certainly stop up the machine and probably tear open the envelope, leaving you screwed. Once it goes through this machine, it may go through a few others before it's sent out to your local main office unit, where it's sorted according to zip code and then further to the letter carrier, and even as the route is to be delivered, called "delivery point sequencing". Just be careful when you send letters of any sort, I'd say each machine tears on average 50 a day, and most main offices have upwards of 30 or 40 of these sorting machines.
If you're sending a flat-mail piece, such as a large flat manilla envelope, the method of sortation is almost identical to letter-mail. Small parcels are not.
Small parcels make their way from your local office to a main office unit, where it makes it to a Small Parcel and Bundle Sorter, aka SPBS. At this machine, a clerk sits at a console, takes each small parcel, looks at the zip code, and keys in a four-digit code according to mail type and zip code. This is one place where lots of mail is damaged, and it's what you have to look out for. Everyone has had mail arrive in poor condition. It's just a fact of life. However, when you're sending contraband, this is NOT AN OPTION. The small parcels make thier way to the clerk via automated belts. Mail of all sizes and weights get dropped, dumped, smashed, and otherwise manhandled together. At one time I knew someone had an ounce or so in a thick padded envelope because I could smell it through a tear that was caused by a large parcel smashing into it. I covered the hole with thick brown tape as a favor to a fellow brave heart.
The mail falls into sacks or hampers, and can end up anywhere, under whatever. Mail sometimes becomes waterlogged for SOME reason, and a tear is very likely to occour when this happens. This is why I make sure contraband is placed inside something rigid like an opened VHS cassette or even a VHS clamshell, which is then taped totally closed. I place this in a larger container, not rigid usually, something padded and more sublime looking. The mail eventually makes its way to your local office, where your carrier delivers it to you.
Basically what I'm telling you is that YES, your mail DOES GET MISHANDLED FREQUENTLY. I used to get quite disgusted at how often machinery tears mail up, but in the grand scheme of things, every man, woman, and child on the PLANET would have to sort mail by hand for two hours a day just to keep up with the sheer volume, which NEVER stops. Not even on hollidays and Sundays. Your mail goes through machines whether you want it to or not. Just be careful, don't think it's going to get hand sorted daintily from one sack to another. Package it so well that the person on the other end has to put out some effort to open it. It's just better that way.
Sorry if that was too long-winded, I just don't want my brothers and sisters getting pinched because so-and-so didn't package that ounce of KGB as well as they should have.
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