Drug dealer vintage tax stamp

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This "Special Tax Stamp," issued by the IRS in 1951 to a "retail dealer in opium, coca leaves, etc.," is up for auction on eBay. Starting bid is $7.95. Link (via Seven Deadly Sinners)


  1. Those still exist in Shelton. That’s a joke I made for regional effect. Because I’ve been there. Ughhhh. Fail.

  2. @apstick, if you happen to know how to get in touch with this Morley Preppernau person, please get in touch.

  3. I’m gonna have to go downtown and see what’s on 2 & Railroad now. Probably nothing, as Wal-mart has destroyed ye olden downtowne.

  4. What a scam! Not only is this not transferable, it’s expired! Nice try, Morley S. Preppernau, but I’ll purchase my illegal-drug tax stamps directly from the appropriate government agencies.

    It doesn’t pay to cheat, kids. What would happen if everyone tried to use black-market tax stamps to cheat the government? Why, the whole system would fall apart.

  5. Wow, that explains a lot about Shelton. It is currently a cesspool of meth and domestic violence, and this document sheds a little light on the history that could of led to it’s current state…

  6. Who needs vintage when you can have a crisp, new tax stamp for your stash?

    According to the NORML website:

    In twenty US states, those who possess cannabis or other illegal drugs are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. The total cost of the tax is generally determined by the quantity of contraband possessed.

    … the legislative intent of drug tax laws is to impose an additional penalty – tax evasion – upon drug offenders after they are arrested and criminally charged with a drug violation.

  7. Seriously – does anyone know if it is legal to actually buy those current tax stamps for weed, etc?

    I have often thought about calling to ask but don’t need the hassles if they trace it back or something.

    No, I don’t NEED one, but the whole idea of making a law that you can’t follow (thus making something “doubly illegal”) really rubs me the wrong way. Heaven forbid you sell your illegal weed without a tax stamp AND within 5000 feet of a school (ie: pretty much everywhere in any city) – that’s triply illegal.

  8. Oh, come on, Shelton is a great little town, downtown at least. Fantastic taco joint. That address looks like it’s probably the pharmacy that closed down a few months ago, which is probably why this is coming up now.

  9. but the whole idea of making a law that you can’t follow (thus making something “doubly illegal”) really rubs me the wrong way.

    They just want to be able to doubly punish you if you get caught with contraband. And if some well meaning dealer were actually to try and pay the tax, well, that would be a valuable “tip” as to who to arrest.

    Vote libertarian, folks–it’s our only hope.

  10. “Seriously – does anyone know if it is legal to actually buy those current tax stamps for weed, etc?”

    Interesting question. I would have to say that yes it is legal to buy the stamps (if you meet the requirements, in some cases you need to present the actual contraband to obtain the stamp, and that is the horrible catch-22 of it really, since you need to commit a crime to even attempt to comply with the rest of the law). Further, I don’t think they still issue these types of stamps as the controlled substances act supersedes them and forces a different sort of compliance licensing (for research). A friend of mine has an old marihuana tax stamp from Illinois but it is from the sixties I think, possibly older. Really this was just the governments first crack at drug-interdiction with the added benefit of slapping tax evasion on every drug bust. Though owning vintage stamps like this one should still be perfectly legal.

  11. @#14: Indeed, it’s illegal NOT to buy them (srsly). If you’re going to sell drugs, that is. You wouldn’t want to be a tax cheat, would you?

    If you’re not going to sell drugs, it’s still not illegal (since when does a government have a problem with you overpaying your taxes?) although yeah, your name will probably go on A List Somewhere. At least in Kansas, though, they’re not allowed to ask your name or share that information with non-tax police. I dimly recall there might be some Fifth Amendment problem with them using your stamp-buying to bust you down the road, in which case the same rule applies nationwide, but it’s the Gitmo Age, so exercise caution.

    From what I recall of other articles on the subject, the Revenue Dept. or whoever sells them in your jurisdiction, only ever hears from stamp collectors and giggling kitsch fans, so they’re pretty blase about it.

  12. Item went Buy It Now for $14.95. Similar one is now under bidding at $152.20.

    The first guy had a bargain, eh?

  13. Ran across this in a favorite hi-cred reference a while back:

    “To this day, Coca-Cola uses as an ingredient a non-narcotic coca leaf extract prepared at a Stepan Company plant in Maywood, New Jersey. In the United States, Stepan Company is the only manufacturing plant authorized by the Federal Government to import and process the coca plant.”

  14. Thanks for the tipoff that these exist BoingBoing. A few moments googling has got me some Birthday card fodder for a couple of pals.

  15. Morley Preppernau was my Great Uncle. He owned the Rexall drugstore in Shelton for many years. Everyone in town knew him as “Prepp”. My Grandfather Charles Preppernau was his brother. Morley’s son Morley Jr. still lives in the area on Harstene Island.

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