Tennessee Can't Avoid Legal Fights Over "Crack Tax"

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee officials haven't been able to keep their state's so-called "crack tax" out of the courts despite the benefit of analyzing decades of legal challenges to other states' taxes on illegal drugs.

Tennessee's attorney general is currently asking the state Supreme Court to toss out a lower court's finding that the levy is unconstitutional. There's no deadline on when the high court has to decide whether to hear the case.

Tennessee is one of 18 states that require drug stamps for illegal narcotics.

Robert Henak, a Wisconsin lawyer who successfully challenged his state's law, said states made a mistake when they began enacting drug stamp laws in the 1980s.

He said legislators are trying to pretend that they are doing something to be tough on crime.


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