September 6, 2012

New Law on Synthetic Drugs

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New Law on K2 and other Synthetic Drugs

Tennessee has started to crack down on K2 and other synthetic drugs that were commonly sold over the counter at tobacco and convenience stores state-wide. As of July 1, 2012 the amended law makes it illegal to possess, produce, or distribute any forms of these synthetic drugs. Tennessee legislature has made it a felony to produce any form of K2, synthetic marijuana, bath salts or other designer drugs for production, manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to produce, or distributes the synthetic cannabinoids. Also, the bill states that stores selling these synthetic drugs can be padlocked as public nuisances. As enacted, it is Class E felony for manufacturing or selling an imitation controlled substance and the Class A misdemeanor for ingesting an imitation controlled substance and possessing an imitation controlled substance for the purpose of ingesting it. A Class E Felony is a serious offense and carries jail time along with up to a $5,000.00 fine. Class A Misdemeanor is punishable by 11 months 29 days in jail and up to a $2,500.00 fine. If you or anyone you know have been charged with possessing, producing, or distributing these synthetic drugs please contact Attorney Don Himmelberg.

Commonly known names of synthetic drugs: Nightmare Herbal Incense, Purple Diesel, Bang Bang, Cloud 9 Mad Hatter, Skywalker Herbal Potpourri XXXX-tra Intense Blend, Charlie Edition, Diablo, 7H Kush, 7H Hydro and K4 Lou.

Call and schedule your free consultation!


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June 8, 2010

Bonnaroo 2010!!

This week marks the ninth annual Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, Tennessee. It seems each year this festival keeps getting bigger and draws thousands of fans to the otherwise sleepy town of Manchester in Coffee County, Tennessee. The lineup this year includes acts such as Dave Matthews, Jay Z, Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, and many, many others. We certainly hope everyone who is planning on attending the show has a great time and is both safe and hassle free. Please note, law enforcement officers throughout the State of Tennessee will be out in full force as you make your way to the show in Manchester this weekend.


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June 27, 2007

The Tennessee Drug Tax

In 2005, the State of Tennessee passed a law requiring persons to pay an excise tax on illegal substances. The Tennessee unauthorized substance tax, or "drug tax" or "crack tax", applies to controlled substances like marijuana and cocaine, and also illicit alcoholic beverages like moonshine. It allows someone to anonymously purchase stamps in person from the Department of Revenue based on the type and amount of the substance ($3.50 for a gram of marijuana, $50 for a gram of cocaine, etc.) with the understanding that doing so cannot be used against them in a criminal court. Possessing drugs is still illegal — the tax works completely outside the criminal justice system. A stamp cannot provide immunity from criminal prosecution, and a conviction of possession isn't required for the Department of Revenue to assess the penalties.

Opponents to the tax say allowing authorities to levy illegal drugs allows officials to bully people not convicted of crimes into paying thousands of dollars. The opponents of the Tennessee Illegal Substance Tax, and there are many, include a wide variety of groups.

In July, 2006, Chancellor Richard Dinkins ruled that the tax was unconstitutional stating that the tax violates an individual's right against self-incrimination and to due process.

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Despite this fact, the Tennessee Department of Revenue continues to attempt to collect these taxes. One of the biggest targets for these tax collectors are Bonnaroo concert goers.

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April 19, 2007

Drug Sniffing Dogs- Are they constitutional? Are they reliable?

In 2005, the United States Supreme Court held in the case of Illinois v. Caballes that when a trained drug dog sniffs a persons automobile, there is no search. As a result, no constitutional violation occurs. This is the case even if the police have absolutely no reason to suspect you may be carrying illegal contraband whatsoever.

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The majority reasoned that a dog’s sniffing is not really a “search” because it detects only contraband, and therefore does not compromise the privacy of someone who has nothing to hide. Justices David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg both dissented strongly, warning that this decision could lead to “suspicionless and indiscriminate sweeps of cars in parking garages and pedestrians on sidewalks.”

The decision was not shocking, it was merely an extension of an earlier case decided by the Supreme Court in 1982 which held that the use of drug sniffing dogs to search luggage in an airport was in fact not a search either. (United States v. Place).

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