Welfare cash used to purchase marijuana in Colorado

National Review has the story.


For the past six months, welfare beneficiaries in Colorado have repeatedly withdrawn their cash benefits at marijuana retailers and dispensaries, according to a new analysis by National Review Online. Such apparent abuses have caught the eye of Colorado’s executive and legislative powers alike, and the state has launched an effort to curb them.

At least 259 times in the first six months of legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado, beneficiaries used their electronic-benefit transfer (EBT) cards to access public assistance at weed retailers and dispensaries, withdrawing a total of $23,608.53 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash, NRO’s examination found.

In 2012, the latest fiscal year available, Colorado used $124 million in TANF money from the federal government, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Withdrawals at marijuana establishments represented only a tiny fraction of the more than 500,000 total EBT transactions that have occurred since recreational weed became legal in Colorado on January 1. And it’s impossible to determine how much of that welfare money actually was used to buy pot, given that cash benefits are fungible and some of these establishments also sell groceries.

Nevertheless, welfare withdrawals at weed stores are coming under increasing scrutiny, and Colorado’s legislators and bureaucrats are beginning an effort to restrict abuses.

[…]Last session, some Colorado legislators attempted to pass a bill banning TANF withdrawals at marijuana establishments, but Democrats blocked it. The state’s Republicans did succeed, however, in passing a budget amendment that would preclude such use. Because of a legislative technicality, however, the amendment “doesn’t have the power and teeth behind it that a statute does,” says Colorado Springs representative Dan Nordberg, one of the key proponents of the ban. Republican lawmakers plan to re-introduce stronger legislation next session.

Democrats are in favor of having welfare money be used for marijuana. Imagine that.

6 thoughts on “Welfare cash used to purchase marijuana in Colorado”

  1. As I think Ann Coulter once said, on the subject of libertarians, I’ll entertain your proposal to legalize drugs only after we end the welfare state that guarantees I’ll be paying for my neighbor’s drugs.


    1. That’s the first time I have heard that – thanks, Chilling! But, isn’t pot a basic human right that was expressly mandated in the Constitution?!?

      For those of us who were around potheads in the 60’s and 70’s, it is absolutely unbelievable that any remotely rational human being could possibly think that the legalization of pot is a good thing, much less that food stamps should be capable of being used for purchasing it. This is truly one case where we don’t need ANY data (although there is plenty of it): all we need is to have had the experience of being in the “company” of one of these types. Or, you could just watch a Cheech and Cong movie, I guess.


  2. We live in Colorado. We have heard through ex-drug addicts that all our storage lockers are stuffed with marijuana growing businesses, and they are shipping it to other states as fast as they can. They told us that every drug entrepreneur in the nation is moving here, buying houses, and preparing to begin large businesses. Literally, if we were not principled people, we could plant the stuff in our huge yard (no license required) and sell it.

    Washington State has the same law, plus same sex marriage, plus legal euthanasia. I just visited there. The crime and car accidents are spiraling out of control. It was very dangerous driving and living there. In my old neighborhood in one week, they had a kidnapping, numerous accidents, break ins and car break ins. We left in 2002. It was a nice place to live then. People have their heads in the sand. Drugs, death, marriage anarchy — it’s the end of civilization. This kind of permissiveness we have now in these two places carries a very heavy price. Ironically, I did 12 years of door to door evangelization in Washington State in the ’90s. I think God sent me out to try to save as many as I could. Many responded to Christ’s invitation. Now they will be persecuted. God bless you. Susan Fox http://www.christsfaithfulwitness.com


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