Arizona was the first state to start issuing the widely known Arizona Marijuana Tax Stamps back in 1983. The stamps were part of an effort to fight drugs by taxing an illegal drug. Since 1983, at least 24 states have made similar efforts to tax illegal drugs.
The idea behind the Arizona Marijuana Tax Stamps was that person could only legally possess marijuana if they had stamp. The state refused to actually sell the stamps to the public, which meant that anybody who possessed marijuana was violating the law and could face fines or prison time.
Part of the reason for the Arizona Marijuana Tax Stamps was to collect revenues from marijuana dealers. The dealers would have to pay a “tax” usually $3.50 per gram of marijuana on the marijuana they possessed. If the marijuana dealers didn’t have the stamp, the state could sue them in an attempt to collect the taxes. The amount the state uses for is usually 200% of the amount of the “tax.”
Some states have introduced other drug stamps and required tax stamps for the possession of marijuana stamps. Kansas for example requires persons possessing a marijuana plant to have a $750 marijuana stamp and charges $200 per gram for a cocaine tax stamp. But the Arizona Marijuana Tax Stamps was just as unconstitutional as all.
Marijuana Tax Stamps Since 1983
Marijuana tax stamps have become both controversial and a collector’s item since they were introduced in 1983.
Civil liberties advocates, libertarians and advocates of legalizing drugs have criticized tax stamps and Arizona Marijuana Tax Stamps as a violation of the US constitution’s ban on double jeopardy (being tried twice for the same crime). In some cases, courts have agreed with them, the tax stamp law in Idaho has been thrown out by the courts.
Online, a thriving collector’s market for Arizona Marijuana Tax Stamps and other state tax stamps has grown up. Collectors are often willing to pay large amounts of money for the stamps which could become even more valuable if marijuana is legalized.