In essence, the drug tax stamp is a way for prosecutors to increase the number of charges against you.
What Is Nebraska’s Drug Tax Stamp?
In Nebraska, the drug tax stamp allows the state to tax marijuana and controlled substances.
You pay a tax on drugs by purchasing a stamp from the Nebraska Department of Revenue (DOR) and affixing it to the container in which the drug is kept. The drug stamps are evidence that you paid the appropriate tax for the illegal substance.
Who Must Pay the Drug Tax?
Anyone in possession of the following must pay the drug tax:
- Six or more ounces of marijuana;
- Seven or more grams of any controlled substance sold by weight; or
- Ten or more dosage units of any controlled substance not sold by weight.
As soon as you possess the drugs in Nebraska, you must pay the tax to the DOR. Drug stamps from another state are not valid in Nebraska.
The DOR reports that you do not need to provide any contact information when purchasing the drug stamps, such as your name or address.
You only need to disclose the type of drug, the quantity, and the increments in which you are selling the drug. However, if you do give your contact information, it will not be kept confidential.
How Much Is the Drug Tax Stamp?
The amount of the drug stamp tax varies based on the type of drug. For marijuana, the drug tax is $100 per ounce or portion of an ounce.
Controlled substances sold by weight are taxed at $150 per gram or portion of a gram. The tax is $500 per 50 dosage unit or parts of a unit for controlled substances not sold by weight.
Each stamp may only be used once and cannot be transferred from one container to another. The stamps expire after 180 days from the date of purchase.
What Are the Penalties for Failure to Pay the Drug Tax?
Failure to have the correct stamp on your drugs is a separate charge and a Class IV felony. It is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
The Nebraska DOR also has the discretion to do the following:
- Impose a penalty equal to the amount of the drug tax;
- Issue a Drug Tax Notice of Deficiency Determination; and
- Place a lien on your property.
It is important to note that you are not protected against other state or federal criminal charges for drug possession or distribution even if you do pay the drug tax.
Purchasing the drug stamps simply stops the prosecution from tacking on the additional charge of failure to pay the drug tax.
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