Add marijuana to the long and growing list of abuses of welfare, specifically food stamps or EBT cards. (For other abuses, go to the “see also” links at the end of this post.)
S. A. Miller reports for The Washington Times, Sept. 9, 2014, that welfare recipients can use their EBT cards at marijuana “dispensaries” in states such as Colorado that have legalized pot. EBT cards are what used to be called food stamps.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) announced he’s drafting legislation to close the welfare-for-weed loophole after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed to him that marijuana shops were not off limits to EBT cards or other federal benefits.
Sen. Sessions, a ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, said, “The federal government current spends roughly $750 billion each year on means-tested welfare programs across 80 different accounts. This money is administered by a vast, sprawling bureaucracy with little oversight and no moral vision. Surely we can all agree that the guiding principle ought to be that benefits are reserved for those in real need.”
Sessions pointed out that Congress in 2011 had passed laws that allowed HHS to prohibit Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash benefits from being spent at vice institutions, such as liquor stores, strip clubs and casinos. But the department did not interpret that authority to include marijuana shops. Sessions was surprised to learn that HHS says it “has no authority to prescribe policies and practices … to prohibit the use of TANF benefit cards at marijuana stores.”
The People’s Republic of Berkeley in the San Francisco Bay Area does DHS one better.
In Berkeley, “poor people” don’t even have to use their EBT cards for marijuana — they get it free! Wee!
In July of this year, Berkeley’s City Council unanimously passed a new law whereby the city’s medical marijuana dispensaries must provide 2% of their cannabis free of charge to very low-income residents. The latter are defined as individuals who make under $32,000 or families that earn less than $46,000.
America: What a great country!
- Food stamps abuse: Get lingerie, dildos & pasties with your EBT card in Louisiana
- Food Stamps Used to Buy Lobsters and Steaks
- 20% of US households are on food stamps
- Culture of Dependency: 1 of 5 in Michigan on Food Stamps
Dr. Eowyn’s post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds.