The current state of American drug taxes occupies murky legal territory. Marijuana is legal in some form in almost half the states, but it is illegal federally. Similarly, illegal drug taxes, although purportedly civil levies, have been declared criminal punishments by a number of our states’ highest courts. Despite these seemingly inherent contradictions, states continue to experiment with new and retooled drug taxes as they wrestle with rapid changes in the nation’s drug policy.
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