Should Illegal Drugs Be Taxed?


The so-called “crack tax” applies to controlled substances like marijuana and cocaine, and also illicit alcoholic beverages like moonshine. It allows someone to anonymously purchase stamps in person from the Department of Revenue based on the type and amount of the substance ($3.50 for a gram of marijuana, $50 for a gram of cocaine, etc.) with the understanding that doing so cannot be used against them in a criminal court. Posessing drugs is still illegal — the tax works completely outside the criminal justice system. A stamp cannot provide immunity from criminal prosecution, and a conviction of possession isn’t required for the Department of Revenue to assess the penalties.

Of the 726 stamps sold so far (some to collectors as novelty items), none have turned up during a seizure. The penalty for not having a stamp can exceed 10 times the original cost — and the Department of Revenue concedes that the tax was instituted with the expectation that most dealers won’t buy the stamp. “Dealers can do it either way,” says Assistant Commissioner for Operations Sam Chessor. “But in reality, the payoff for us is going to be on the back end, not the front end. ”

And what a payoff: since the tax was enacted in 2004 it has netted Tennessee $3.5 million in extra revenue, 75% of which goes directly to the enforcement agencies that carry out the drug busts. Still, some opponents argue that adding such steep penalties on top of criminal charges amounts to a second punishment, and thus a violation of double jeopardy law. “Aside from this incredible acrimony and bill-collecting mentality,” says Knoxville attorney Gregory P. Isaacs, “you are divested of all your constitutional rights.”

Fundies Say the Darndest Things

The best of 2006.

“I was wondering ? Do any of you sometimes let go of the steering wheel
for a moment while driving are while coming to a stop, of course while no cars are really near by and imagine yourselfs disappear and wonder what your car may do, where it would stop or that sort of stuff if you were driving while the rapture takes place ?

tell me if I’m crazy, or is this normal ? “


Even though computers aren’t capable of rational thought and know nothing about morals, yet they have more sense than the most learned atheist. Case and point: The other day while working on a PC, I began deleting unwanted files. There was an html file that showed all of the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Since it was a duplicate file, I decided to delete it also. When I clicked “delete”, the usual message came on the screen that said, “Are you sure you want to send the ‘TEN COMMANDMETS’ to the Recycle bin?” The question struck me very deeply because of how it was worded and for a moment I hesitated to delete the file. After clicking “yes”, a message box came up on the screen that said an illegal act had been performed by a program. Now what atheist or heathen has sense enough to think as correctly as that unthinking computer. Atheists do not think it’s an illegal act to try to destroy the TEN COMMANDMENTS.”

The Astoria Notes

Problems with the people downstairs:

One night, I came home to find the first in a series of notes slipped under my door. Small writing filled both sides of a sheet of loose leaf paper. I didn’t know what to make of it. The note began, “Dear Neighbor. When you arrive late every night, you are probably concentrating on your chores and don’t realize that this building, this street, the traffic, the people are all very still, very quiet.” The care and craftsmanship that went into writing this note was beyond anything I’d ever heard of from an angry neighbor. I continued reading.

(via Waxy)

Jesus Appears on a Doggy Door

Christ on a Doggy Door
is now my new slogan.

That’s what a Yucaipa family is wondering after an image they say resembles Jesus Christ appeared on the plastic flap of their pet door — days before they were to get rid of their two unruly canines.

“I’m probably not going to become a born-again evangelist, but I cannot deny that I think there was a spirit of redemption at work,” said Roger Bowman, 41. “I don’t know, maybe the dogs will save somebody in our swimming pool one day.”

The image combines dirt, claw marks and a manufacturer’s logo to form what — when backlit and viewed from the right angle — looks something like the long-haired, bearded Jesus the faithful see in the Shroud of Turin.