Vice Squad
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Don't Mess With Taxes

Remember Texas's "pole tax," the $5 per customer fee applied to strip clubs in January? Turns out that a state judge has ruled the tax to be a violation of the First Amendment. The Attorney General intends to devote more public funds to appealing the ruling, while other supporters of the tax are investigating reforms to the legislation that would help it pass constitutional muster. (Incidentally, I haven't read the court opinion, but I am surprised that a case decided on free speech grounds also seems to hinge (if the published reports are correct) on the earmarking of the revenues from the tax.)

In unrelated news, via Pete at Drug WarRant we learn of a wonderful series of videos concerning heroin. The presenter is Michael Jourdan, a leading Danish drug researcher. Heroin (like methamphetamine) is a word that for many people is so evocative of danger as to preclude marshaling facts or reasoning about policy. Jourdan provides the facts, and some fine reasoning along the way, too.

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