Who says drugs have to be legalized to collect taxes?
June 6, 2001 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Who says drugs have to be legalized to collect taxes? 'Kansas law requires all dealers of illegal drugs to buy the stamps and attach them to their product. They almost never comply.' What a shock! However, this article will let you know how to comply with the law, and where you can buy the tax stamps for your own business needs. (Courtesy of Indigo, who is having trouble posting.)
posted by jennaratrix (13 comments total)
As a protest everyone should buy at least one drug tax stamp... No scratch that, more money in their coffers. I question the legality of a state making money off of criminal activity. Is this indirectly sanctioning the sale of narcotics? Obviously, it is a loophole that the state is exploiting in order to increase the punishment of drug dealers, but if we are to take this seriously it is as if the government is accepting drug dealing a part of legitimate commerce.
posted by Stretch at 2:37 PM on June 6, 2001

"it is as if the government is accepting drug dealing a part of legitimate commerce."

Like alcohol, tobacco and Prozac?

I think they should tax the shit out of it and funnel the profits directly into schools and treatment centers.
posted by keithl at 2:49 PM on June 6, 2001

I believe the requirement of buying a stamp is not as an income producting ploy but rather so that if you get arrested for drugs they can then also claim you did not have a stamp...sort of like getting arrested for driving 120 miles per hour, getting ticketed for speeding, and also getting slapped with a No Seatbelt charge...pile up the charges. Our govt is not dumb but shifty. ask the guy who is in DC.
posted by Postroad at 2:49 PM on June 6, 2001

It's legal--according to the 10th Circuit Court.

"A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld Kansas laws that allow dealers of illegal drugs to be prosecuted criminally and also be subjected to civil penalties for drug taxes.

That dual enforcement doesn't violate the U.S. Constitution's prohibition of being subjected to double jeopardy, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0."

"In 1995, the Kansas Supreme Court came to the same conclusion that the federal court reached Wednesday."

"The Constitution's double jeopardy clause provides that no one shall "be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb."

The 10th Circuit Court, however, concluded that the Kansas drug tax doesn't contain a criminal punishment, just civil penalties."

"About half of the 50 states have drug tax laws, said a revenue department spokesman."


MOREOVER, according to the first article link to the Topeka Capital Journal, the stamps can be claimed without self-incrimination...

It is highly amusing...I couldn't stop laughing when I first read it.

The main point is to gain one of the central advantages of drug legalization without the costs: ie TAX MONEY. It also gives legal basis to get the owed "tax money" after an arrest.

I was under the impression that any "ill-gotten gains" would be repossessed by the police: be it a car bought with drug money or cash made from a drug sale.

Is this wrong?
posted by indigo at 2:52 PM on June 6, 2001

Reminds me of a Japanese story about licensed pickpockets.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 3:56 PM on June 6, 2001

IN Arizona they sell Canibus tax stamps much like tobacco stamps.
posted by crackheadmatt at 3:58 PM on June 6, 2001

That's a great story, Crunchy... thanks!
posted by silusGROK at 4:03 PM on June 6, 2001

It is also a way to prosecute and punish the otherwise smart dealers that can't get nailed down for posession or the nasty stuff that often accompanies the sale of illegal substances.

Seems like that could be a bit of a collectors item, a real live drug tax stamp.
posted by mutagen at 4:04 PM on June 6, 2001

Of course, the Feds have known about this scam for years [see regs]. One can say with a straight face that this isn't really expecting people to incriminate themselves, but for people who've been caught. If you go to jail for embezzlement, surely this could lead to an audit ... and it has to be reported somewhere ....
posted by dhartung at 4:15 PM on June 6, 2001

"If they can't pay, authorities may seize money or property, which they sell at auction, to cover the fines." (cjonline)

not to mention the healthy profits some police probably take when they sell back the confiscated drugs on the street. where i used to live in southern california, it was known that a good place to get drugs was from the sheriff's deputies

indigo:> I was under the impression that any "ill-gotten gains" would be repossessed by the police: be it a car bought with drug money or cash made from a drug sale.

Is this wrong?

technically, any piece of property that has been used to commit a drug crime can be seized. some 80% of us currency has traces of cocaine in it, therefore the property has "been in possession" of cocaine, and could legally be seized by any law enforcement agency.

is this wrong?

Asset forfeiture reform is an issue that has recently received bipartisan attention.

watch this
posted by dukejohnson at 7:13 PM on June 6, 2001

Ha! Serves me right to go look at Ebay right away after reading this...
Here and Here

Couldn't tell you how real these are, but something inside me made me look...
For some old-time nostalgia, check out these old-time Opium Tax Stamps
posted by stew560 at 8:50 PM on June 6, 2001

Marijuana costs only $100/oz in Kansas? Wowie zowie, Maui, where's my car keys?

Or is it ... only worth that much ...
posted by anewc2 at 5:07 AM on June 7, 2001

I wonder if some drug-users refuse to buy unstamped drugs...
posted by eau at 7:27 AM on June 7, 2001

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