Tenn. Rules "Crack Tax" Unconstitutional

An appeals court in Tennessee has ruled the state's tax on illegal drugs unconstitutional calling it "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable."

More like this please.

The law allows the state to go after the belongings of people who are caught with illegal drugs or alcohol that don't bear the special tax stamps, regardless of the outcome of their criminal cases.

..."Because it seeks to levy a tax on the privilege to engage in an activity that the Legislature has previously declared to be a crime, not a privilege, we must necessarily conclude that the drug tax is arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable, and therefore, invalid under the constitution of this state," Judge Sharon G. Lee wrote.

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    How does that differ from property seizures? (none / 0) (#1)
    by jerry on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 08:05:25 PM EST
    How does that "tax" differ from how other states (and the feds?) seize property including cars used to pick prostitutes up?

    (One reason Avis knows me personally.)

    i always strive for (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Sat Sep 08, 2007 at 04:15:24 AM EST
    lewd and lascivious myself.

    Too bad (none / 0) (#3)
    by aahpat on Sat Sep 08, 2007 at 06:37:33 AM EST
    I would have preferred that they declare the prohibition laws unconstitutional and leave the tax laws in place.

    America's prohibition against the responsible regulation, licensing and taxation of the $ 144-billion U.S. intoxicant drugs consumer demand gives the Mexican and Colombian cartels their market just as it provides a regulatory vacuum for the Taliban to thrive in. Globally the market consumer demand  is worth $ 322-billion according the the most recent U.N. World Drugs Report.

    A democratically regulated intoxicant drugs market, using proven public health institutions to mitigate the social ills of addiction while bringing the vast majority of the non-addictive recreational under society's control, would foreclose access to these hundreds of billions of dollars for gangsters and terrorists alike. America 'just says no'.

    Democratic institutions if regulation, taxation and licensing will save the world from the chaos and instability created by the U.S prohibition against intoxicant drugs.

    Unconst. Tenn. Drug Tax (none / 0) (#4)
    by toscho on Sat Sep 08, 2007 at 08:18:55 AM EST
    The indifference of state officials to the patent unconstitutionality of the Tenn. Drug Tax is amazing.  Since announcing as official state policy their intention to continue enforcing this Draconian law, they lay themselves open to federal civil rights law suits which will include attorneys fees.  Case in point:  My 17 year old grandson was busted at the Bonarro (sp?) music festival in 2006 for a baggie of plant substance (suspected to contain psychedelic mushrooms) that was not his and turned out to contain no illegal substance whatsoever. No field test of the material was conducted and the revenue agent later admitted to me that he had no expertise in identifying illegal drugs via the "Mark 1 eyeball." Nontheless the revenue agent on the spot took the money he had on his person leaving him with no means to get home.  He was assessed  a fine of over $5000 and immediate payment was demanded; and the "revenooers" threatened to seize his (my) pickup truck as well. The money was returned several months later after an administrative hassle, but with no apology.

    I Thought It Strange (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Sat Sep 08, 2007 at 11:53:30 AM EST
    To find out years ago that illegal drugs were taxable. More recently I met someone who actually bought tax stamps reflecting the exact amount of her sales. She said that if ever she got busted at least she would not have the IRS bankrupting her for the rest of her life. Sounded smart to me even though it the whole idea of taxing illegal drugs still sounds nutty to me.