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The Drug Tax Man Cometh

riceKtreats.jpgIn Tennessee, there’s this law called the Taxation of Unauthorized Substances Act. It basically says that folks arrested for illegal possession of drugs have to pay a tax on those drugs, with the tax amount determined by the weight of the drugs in questions. To avoid this penalty for what the state sees as tax evasion (because even if the drugs you buy are illegal, the state still wants its piece), folks are allowed to anonymously buy stamps from the state’s Department of Revenue. I’m sure folks are jumping at that opportunity — as one Nashville attorney puts it:

It’s the penalties for not getting these stamps beforehand that really costs people who get arrested. Who in their right mind is going to go into a state building and purchase stamps for their illegal drugs? I’m sure they haven’t sold any of them.

This attorney, Jonathan A. Street, is talking about the issue because he’s representing William J. Hoak, who is suing the state over this drug tax. The lawsuit stems from Hoak’s own drug possession arrest, when he was found at a concert with “rice creeper treats,” Rice Krispies treats laced with pot. He was hit with a drug tax of over $11,000, but he says this amount is way too high because most of the weight wasn’t contributable to the pot, but to the cereal and marshmallows and other goodness that goes into Rice Kirspies treats. Street adds that Hoak didn’t have a large amount of the treats: “It’s not like it was a pan of Rice Krispies treats like your mama would bring you.” No kidding it wasn’t — my mama never brought me a pan of Rice Kripsies treats cooked with pot. Talk about child neglect!

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Comments

Get bent, tax man!

Amanda beat me to it!

Oh Sweet Christ, thanks for the 1L flashback. My first LRW brief was all about marijuana laws and I read more cases about drug taxation than I care to remember--ugh.