Post Content

A Massachusetts newspaper reported this week that two men arrested for possession of five pounds of marijuana had also run afoul of state tax law.

The story went on to quote from the law … which was all well and good except the law was thrown out in a Supreme Judicial Court case settled in 1998, Commissioner of Revenue v. Mullins. In ruling against the Commonwealth, the SJC said the law was aimed at drug dealers and amounted to a double jeopardy penalty since it imposed a high rate of taxation, had a deterrent purpose, was clearly conditioned on the commission of a crime, and bore no logical relationship to legal possession.

Some background is in order. in 1993, the Massachusetts Legislature passed the Massachusetts Controlled Substance Tax which authorized DOR to print tax stamps for controlled substances such as marijuana. Even though the SJC ruling made the law moot, it has not been repealed. The law set a tax rate of $3.50 per gram or $99.20 per ounce of controlled substance.

After the SJC decision, DOR kept the stamps, which are purple and about the size of a postage stamp.

Indeed, since the law first took effect, DOR has earned about $2,500 from the stamps which sell for $3.50 each, with most of those sales registered after the SJC decision.

Who is buying a stamp that has no valid legal purpose, given the SJC decision? Stamp collectors. Some purchasers sell the stamps as collectibles on web-based auction sales sites for as much as $20.

If you'd like to order your collectible, gag gift or stocking stuffer – and folks, supplies are running low, so act now since DOR will not re-order the useless stamps once they are gone – you can obtain them by downloading DOR form CST-1, Marijuana and Controlled Substances Stamp order form and mailing it to DOR at the address listed on the form.

We can't make this stuff up.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Why do most Massachusetts taxpayers file electronically? Lots of good reasons. posted on Mar 17

If you haven’t filed your Massachusetts personal income tax return, there are very good reasons to consider e-filing.  Millions of taxpayers have already taken advantage of e-filing, the most convenient way to get your taxes done. Why are we confident that e-filing is the very   …Continue Reading Why do most Massachusetts taxpayers file electronically? Lots of good reasons.

MassTaxConnect for Fiduciary Taxes – Get Started on December 5, 2016! posted on Nov 14

With WebFile for Income Stepping Aside, MassTaxConnect Steps Up MassTaxConnect, the Commonwealth’s new tax revenue system, will be expanding to include fiduciary and other taxes on December 5, 2016. As you may already know, WebFile for Income is now officially closed as we prepare to   …Continue Reading MassTaxConnect for Fiduciary Taxes – Get Started on December 5, 2016!

November 6: WebFiIe for Income Makes Way for MassTaxConnect posted on Nov 4

WebFile for Income says goodbye as MassTaxConnect welcomes more taxpayers In anticipation of MassTaxConnect expanding to include 10 additional tax types, WebFile for Income will say goodbye to users on November 6 at midnight. Save the date – pay bills electronically through November 6 If   …Continue Reading November 6: WebFiIe for Income Makes Way for MassTaxConnect