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 $32 million in assessments.

"Our effective implementation of this tax aids in fulfilling the law’s primary purpose to channel funds collected into local law enforcement agencies to help combat, prevent and reduce drug crimes in Tennessee,” said Tennessee Department of Revenue Commissioner Loren L. Chumley.

Boy, is my face red. See, I predicted the tax would make no money. More:

With the tax, people in possession of illegal drugs must purchase stamps marked with a number to be affixed to packages containing the drugs.

When drugs without the stamp are found, the Tennessee Department of Revenue taxes the alleged drug possessor and gives them an opportunity to pay the tax. If it is not paid, agents may seize and auction anything of value the person owns.

No criminal conviction is needed for the state to enforce the tax, and information obtained from the sale of the drug stamps cannot be used in criminal prosecutions, according to the Revenue Department. At the same time, buying drug stamps does not provide immunity from criminal prosecution.

Oh, never mind. My face isn't red at all. The purpose of the law was to get rid of due process in drug cases and it did just that, like I said.

R. Neal's picture

Hmmm, this has interesting

Hmmm, this has interesting possibilities for law enforcement. By making all violations, even made up ones, taxable in some way or another, we can exact justice without all the messy constitutional red tape. I wonder if Bush knows about this? There could be a $1,000,000 tax, say, for every time you called the president a "war criminal" or something. Then Treasury agents could take care of people like Cindy Sheean without the inconvenience of warrants and indictments and stuff.

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