Although Oklahoma has recently loosened its laws regarding simple possession of illegal drugs, the state continues to prosecute the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of illegal drugs. A common criminal case involves the Oklahoma drug tax stamp, the result of a law aimed primarily at drug dealers.
Defining Drugs And Dealers
In Oklahoma, illegal drugs are termed “controlled dangerous substances. ” These are classified according to risk under the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act of Oklahoma, with the most addictive and harmful drugs listed under Schedules I and II of the act, including marijuana. Okla. Stat. tit. 68 § 450.1
A dealer is someone who illegally manufactures, distributes, produces, ships, transports, or imports into Oklahoma any illegal drug if the amount involved is sufficient.
A Tahlequah drug crimes attorney is your best resource for more information about what constitutes dealing under the law.
Explaining The Oklahoma Drug Tax Stamp
A drug dealer is supposed to buy a tax stamp and affix it to all illegal drugs in their possession. The dealer must affix the stamp immediately after receipt of the substance. Also, the stamp may only be used once before paying another fee and obtaining another stamp. Okla. Stat. tit. 68 § 450.3
So, how much of a drug is required to classify a person as a dealer under this law? As it turns out, not all that much:
- 42 ½ grams or more of marijuana;
- 7 or more grams of any illegal drug other than marijuana; or
- 10 or more dosage units of any illegal drug other than marijuana.
A ½ ounce of marijuana is approximately 14 grams. Therefore, if you grow your own marijuana — even for personal use — you could exceed the allowable limits under this statute.
Penalties For Having No Drug Tax Stamp
No one actually purchases or affixes these stamps onto their illegal drugs. So, how does this statute operate in the real world?
Let’s say you are carrying a certain amount of an illegal drug and the police search you. According to the law, you are a drug dealer. The state could charge you with possession with intent to distribute or drug trafficking, both of which carry hefty penalties under Oklahoma law.
If you refuse to affix the Oklahoma drug tax stamp, you will pay the original tax plus a civil penalty of 100% of the tax. Also, you could serve up to five years in prison, pay a fine of up to $10,000, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 68 § 450.8
This is in addition to penalties you might face from drug trafficking or possession with intent to distribute charges. Depending on the substance, you could serve another two to five years in prison.
Civil Penalty Amounts
The civil penalty amounts are 100% of the tax amount. The tax amounts vary depending on the drug involved.
- 1 gram of marijuana: $3.50.
- 1 gram of an illegal drug other than marijuana: $200.
- 50 dosage units of another illegal drug: $1,000.
Defenses to Explore With Your Attorney
These cases are often rife with illegal search and seizure issues and other problems with evidence collected by police.
If the search was conducted without consent and without probable cause, your attorney may be successful in having charges dismissed.
Other issues may arise. Often police fail to properly weigh and inventory the drugs taken. If these types of problems exist, the threshold amounts may not be properly met, and you could obtain a dismissal. This and other possible defenses should be discussed with an experienced Tahlequah attorney.
Free Consultation: Tahlequah Criminal Defense Lawyer
Please contact a Tahlequah criminal defense lawyer to discuss your available legal options if you’ve been charged with no drug tax stamp in Oklahoma.
For a free consultation, call Wirth Law Office – Tahlequah at 918-458-2677 or toll-free at 1-888-447-7262.
Or, if you prefer e-mail, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page and we’ll contact you by e-mail as soon as possible.