Tennessee Collected $1.8m In 'Crack Tax' In 2006

Nashville (AP) -- Tennessee collected $1.8 million from its tax on illegal drugs in 2006.

The tax applies to controlled substances like cocaine, crack, methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as certain illicit alcoholic drinks like moonshine and non-tax-paid liquor.

The state requires drug dealers buy tax stamps similar to those found on cigarettes or legal alcohol. If dealers don't have the tax stamps to prove they paid the tax, revenue department agents can seize and auction off anything of value the person owns.

The tax is currently $50 per gram of cocaine or $3.50 per gram of marijuana.

The law says information collected when a drug dealer pays the tax up front can't be used as part of a criminal prosecution. But paying the tax doesn't make the drugs legal, either.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.