Many people know Nebraska has some strict penalties for controlled substances. This includes lengthy jail sentences and high fines.

However, what many don’t know is there is another punishment on top of these high penalties: the drug tax.

What is a drug tax?

The drug tax requires people in Nebraska who possess illegal substances to purchase drug tax stamps. Despite what it sounds like, buying these drug stamps does not allow people to possess illegal drugs.

Instead, it’s a tax on the illegal drug itself. If you’re charged with possessing a controlled substance, you will also probably face a charge for failure to pay the drug tax.

Having the proper stamps at the time of an arrest does not mean you will be absolved of your charges. Instead, it simply means you will avoid incurring the extra fees that come along with not paying said tax.

The cost of Nebraska’s drug tax consists of:

  • $100 per ounce (or portion of an ounce) of marijuana if someone has six or more ounces.
  • $150 per gram of controlled substances if someone has seven or more grams.
  • $500 per 50 doses of non-weighted substances if a person has 10 or more doses.

The tax is stackable, so it can quickly add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars.

When someone doesn’t have drug tax stamps

A person arrested without having the right amount of drug tax stamps faces a significant penalty. The state considers it a Class IV felony to not have the proper stamps.

This is in addition to the obvious criminal charges associated with illegal substances. The charges can include the full cost of the drug tax stamps plus penalties and interest. On top of that, there is an extra penalty of 100 percent of the owed drug tax.

This means someone charged with possession faces an extra set of costly fines and penalties if they do not possess drug stamps. Prosecutors will often use this extra charge to negotiate better plea deals for the state.

Fighting for your rights

If you are facing drug charges, you may not be aware of this extra wrinkle in Nebraska law. The drug tax will add extra monetary penalties onto most drug charges.

A skilled criminal defense attorney is a good resource for those facing charges around illegal substances or those curious about Nebraska’s drug tax laws.