In 2005, the Tennessee Legislature passed a law that granted the Tennessee Department of Revenue (hereinafter TDOR) the authority to levy a tax on unauthorized substances.1 This law requires drug dealers to pay a tax based on the type and amount of unauthorized substance they possess. Following payment of the tax, the TDOR issues the drug dealer a tax stamp that must be attached to the "unauthorized substances to indicate payment." A drug dealer arrested for possession of an unauthorized substance, absent an affixed tax stamp, faces not only criminal prosecution for the possession of the substance, but also an assessment of the tax, a penalty, and interest accrued on the unpaid tax. The legislative purpose of this tax is to "generate revenue for state and local law enforcement agencies."
"Taxing the War on Drugs: Tennessee's Unauthorized Substance Tax,"
Tennessee Journal of Law and Policy: Vol. 3
, Article 4.
Available at: https://trace.tennessee.edu/tjlp/vol3/iss2/4