« Killing Time in Indiana | Main | Everyone Loves Divorce Lawyers »

QuizLaw Story Update - The Drug Tax Man Does Not Cometh

taxMan.jpgLast week, I told you about Tennessee’s Taxation of Unauthorized Substances Act, a law which purportedly requires folks possessing illegal drugs to pay taxes on those drugs or face stiff financial fines. Commenter Amanda pulled out the apropos movie quote, succinctly stating: “Get bent, tax man!” Seems that the Tennessee Court of Appeals is also a fan of Stranger Than Fiction as it similarly told the drug tax man to get bent by ruling the Tennessee law unconstitutional.

The Court bought the argument raised by those opposed to the law, unanimously ruling that the law violates both the right to due process and the right against self-incrimination. The Court also added an extra reason for striking down the law: “We affirm the trial court’s conclusion upon the alternate ground that the statute is arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable and, therefore, invalid under the Tennessee Constitution, in that it seeks to tax as a privilege, activity that prior legislation has designated as criminal activity.”

The drug tax man isn’t permanently bent just yet, however, as the state is planning to appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court.