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Tennessee’s Illegal Drug Tax Stamp

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

First, it takes a special kind of stupid to lose money when your only job is to take people’s property without due process of law and sell it: A report released today by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research (TCPR) finds that from January 1-June 21, 2005, Tennessee’s Unauthorized Substances Tax (UST) cost taxpayers nearly […]

TN Supreme Court Rules Tennessee’s Illegal Drug Tax Is Actually An Illegal Drug Tax

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Look at me! I’m unconstitutional. Soon to be a collector’s item. Tom Humphrey: Basically, the majority said that illegal drugs are not subject to taxation under the state constitution, which authorizes taxes on “merchants, peddlers and privileges.” The tax is on possession, they reasoned, not sales so the possessors are not merchants or peddlers. And […]

Tennessee’s Illegal Drug Tax

Monday, January 8th, 2007

Bill Hobbs, who notes that the tax is unconstitutional, quotes: For a second consecutive year, the state Department of Revenue concealed the failures of the Unauthorized Substance Tax. In a press release issued Tuesday, the Department praised the Unauthorized Substance Tax, or “crack tax,” for generating $1.7 million in revenue collections. The Department, however, conveniently […]

6 wacky laws in Tennessee

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

A list. No mention of TN’s tax on illegal drugs that you cannot pay. Or the stupid “send a drug addict to jail because she got knocked up” law.

TN Illegal Drug Tax Ruled Unconstitutional

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Again? Seriously, how many times must this be ruled before, uh, a ruling actually gets rid of it? See prior rulings and coverage here. Full opinion here, via AC.

Crack Tax

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

Tennessee’s illegal drug tax made the cable news.

Illegal drug tax overturned

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

I’ve covered the Tennessee tax stamp on illegal drugs for a while. Via the five people who emailed this to me this morning, comes the Tennessean: A Tennessee judge has ruled that a state law requiring drug dealers to pay taxes on their cocaine, marijuana and other illicit drugs is unconstitutional. The ruling by Davidson […]

The lucrative drug trade

Monday, July 11th, 2005

It’s also lucrative for the state. The Tennessean reports: Tennessee modeled its program to collect taxes on illegal drugs after North Carolina’s, but early returns indicate that the Volunteer State’s 6-month-old effort has been more successful. A report released yesterday showed that Tennessee had collected about six times more taxes on controlled substances as did […]

Tennessee Drug Tax Stamp

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005

A reader sent me a scan of the Tennessee Department of Revenue Unauthorized Substances Stamp (note: Background on Tennessee’s Illegal Drug Tax can be found here). Here it is: It has a what I assume is a serial number. I also assume that means this is only the 127th one they sold. It costs the […]

More Illegal Drug Tax Stuff

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

Ben Livingston was tracking his efforts to purchase tax stamps on illegal drugs as required by Tennessee law. It starts out with this opening email: I am interested in purchasing the new illegal drug stamps that Tennessee now offers. I called this morning to purchase some of these, but I was told I could not […]

More on the Drug Tax

Tuesday, June 28th, 2005

I’ve discussed Tennessee’s asinine illegal drug tax many times before. It’s only use seems to be taking people’s property without due process of law and there are reports that the tax stamps aren’t actually being sold. Tennessee Rep Stacey Campfield alerts us that: Tennessee Center for Policy Research has a new study out today which […]

Tennessee’s War Tax on Drugs

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

Bill Hobbs notes that Tennessee will start taxing illegal drugs next year (I’ve mentioned this before). Says Bill: This actually works – and is a pretty good idea, though it sounds a bit odd at first. The law will require sellers of illegal drugs to pay excise taxes, just legal businesses. Most drug-pushers won’t comply, […]

Do it again, only harder

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Tennessee had an illegal drug tax. The TN supreme court actually ruled that it was unconstitutional, thereby making it live up to its name. But that doesn’t stop our legislators from doing the same stupid thing again. Only this time, they mean it, I guess. This time, however, the bill taxes those who peddle, distribute […]

Class Action

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Tennessee had an illegal drug tax. And it kept getting struck down. Now, there is a class action lawsuit to recover payment of the illegal drug tax.

TN Supreme Court

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Jamie Satterfield notes that the state Supreme Court is looking into TN’s waiver of due process of law err illegal drug tax: In a separate case, Brad Buchanan tried today on behalf of the state Department of Revenue to convince the state high court to overturn a lower appellate court ruling striking down as unconstitutional […]

Disappointing Artwork

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Ya know, Tennessee’s unconstitutional drug tax stamp is not as cool looking as Texas’ unconstitutional drug tax stamp. Update: B-Ho notes: The Bredesen admininstration appears intent on continuing to collect the tax, despite two court rulings that it is unconstitutional, as a Department of Revenue spokesman says the department will continue to collect the tax […]


Friday, August 24th, 2007

Tennessee’s illegal drug tax was overturned once already. Now, it’s been suspended once more: Two Knoxville lawyers who convinced a chancellor to strike down the state’s so-called “crack tax” as unconstitutional now have won a rare restraining order against the agency that collects it. Attorneys James A.H. Bell and Richard Holcomb, representing a Livingston pharmacist […]

Ok, one more thing

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Via Ravenwood, Time magazine is looking at Tennessee’s Illegal Drug tax: since the tax was enacted in 2004 it has netted Tennessee $3.5 million in extra revenue, 75% of which goes directly to the enforcement agencies that carry out the drug busts. Still, some opponents argue that adding such steep penalties on top of criminal […]

That time already?

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

Every year, some local news organization runs some article on how much Tennessee collected with its illegal drug tax. Every year, I say bullshit. This year, it’s $1.8M and it’s still bullshit. Update: MKS has more. And here’s the presser: During the second year of Tennessee’s unauthorized substances tax, the Tennessee Department of Revenue collected […]

Well, which is it?

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

Bill, on the overturning of Tennessee’s illegal drug tax, notes: Although a judge has ruled that the Tennessee law requiring drug dealers to pay state taxes on their cocaine, marijuana and other illicit drugs is unconstitutional, the state says it will continue to collect the tax because the ruling applies only to one individual alleged […]

Disregarding due process is profitable

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Michael Silence notes: Tennessee’s tax on unauthorized substances such as cocaine and marijuana and some alcoholic beverages brought in more than $1.7 million in its first year, according to revenue officials. The tax, which is modeled after a 13-year-old North Carolina tax aimed at fighting illegal drugs, has resulted in $1,714,565 in collections and nearly […]

Due process?

Friday, June 10th, 2005

In Tennessee, a 60 year-old man recovering from cancer smoked marijuana to alleviate the pain and depression. He has since been arrested and had his money and cars seized and a lien placed on his house. All this without due process of law, which is blatantly unconstitutional. The fifth amendment states that no person shall […]

This just in

Monday, June 6th, 2005

WATE reports that Lawyers say Tennessee’s illegal tax law is ripe for abuse: Defense lawyers say a new law allowing authorities to tax illegal drugs allows officials to bully people not convicted of crimes into paying thousands of dollars. Tennessee’s Department of Revenue has collected nearly $400,000 in taxes. Another $$11 million in taxes have […]

I’m Backsliding Already

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

Here I’ve been trying to step up the blog output, and I’ve already hit the wall. Things are crazy at work today, so I don’t know how much I’ll get to post today. In the meantime, here’s an interesting tidbit. SayUncle has blogged a couple of times about Tennessee’s tax stamps for illegal drugs. Well, […]

As predicted (continued)

Thursday, March 24th, 2005

In an update to Tennessee’s tax on illegal drugs scoring its first booty, I have additional correspondence from someone alleging to be Jerry [redacted]. He tells me that the police first entered the home looking for a runaway girl. They then entered the home the following day by kicking the door down. They had no […]

As predicted (continued)

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

I blogged here about Tennessee’s tax on illegal drugs claiming its first booty. A man claiming to be Jerry [redacted](the person whose house was seized for non-payment of the tax that they won’t even let you pay) left some comments there: The house is worth about $90,000 and I owe $71,000 on it. They taxed […]

As predicted

Friday, March 18th, 2005

Mark reports that Tennessee’s taxes on illegal drugs are working as expected: A Bloomington Springs house and the land it sits on yesterday became the first real estate in Tennessee to be seized for unpaid tax on illegal drugs. The property belongs to Jerry [redacted], and the tax is for the marijuana crop that law […]

Not for sale

Friday, March 11th, 2005

Regarding Tennessee’s tax on illegal drugs, a commenter over at Michael Silence’s blog writes: The Department of Revenue claims that to date nobody has attempted to voluntarily pay this tax. I would like to point out that this is untrue. I attempted to voluntarily pay this tax on January 6, but all of my attempts […]


Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

Any of my Tennessee readers know the street value of 42.5 grams of marijuana in Knoxville? Actually, can someone translate that into some useful measure for me too (such as joints)? I’m not up on drug values since I don’t do drugs but I am thinking of heading down to the local Tennessee Department of […]

I’m shocked

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

I’ve yammered about Tennessee’s stupid new law requiring those that deal in illegal drugs to buy a tax stamp before. It serves only as a tax on stupid people or as another crime to charge someone with in the ever expanding war on drugs. Surprising to no one, is the fact that drug dealers aren’t […]