Marijuana: Welfare cards being used at pot shop ATMs?

Categories: Marijuana, News

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According to data compiled by the National Review, welfare recipients have used electronic benefit (EBT) cards to withdraw cash at dispensaries at least 259 times since the sale of limited amounts of cannabis to adults 21 and up began in Colorado on January 1.

In total, more than $23,600 of money meant to go toward food and housing from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program was withdrawn, according to the conservative publication. And while there's no way to prove the money was spent in dispensaries, that doesn't matter to the lawmakers who immediately demanded something be done.

See also: "Ask a Stoner: How much THC equals a lethal dose?"

As the National Review points out, 259 withdrawals is just a tiny fraction of the more than 500,000 that have been made at dispensaries around the state since January 1. But it's large enough that some lawmakers are considering new legislative remedies. In addition, the Colorado State Board of Human Services, which oversees the benefits program, issued an emergency ruling on July 11 that bars the cards from being used at ATMs in bars, pot shops, liquor stores and casinos -- and also allows Human Services to better track transactions. Using the funds at such businesses is already illegal.

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Senator Vicki Marble sponsored a bill to prevent welfare money to be used at dispensaries.
"For the first time in Colorado, the rule will allow us to deactivate an EBT card if we identify misuse," said Todd Jorgensen, director of the office of public safety for the Colorado Department of Human Services, in announcing the change. "The department takes the appropriate use of TANF funds very seriously."

Earlier this year, the satirical National Report ran a joke article saying that one Colorado medical marijuana dispensary had openly advertised that it accepted food stamps for weed. Though the article was bogus, it still got some people up in arms, including the Douglas County GOP, which took the report seriously.

So seriously, in fact, that the group filed a proposal this past January to stop the use. A bill sponsored by Senator Vicki Marble -- you'll remember her as the lawmaker who complemented black people on their awesome barbecue and chicken -- would have added pot shops to the list of places that can't accept food-stamp money. But state Democrats shot down the measure, saying it was redundant and noting that any business that wants to accept food-stamp funds needs to be licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture -- and dispensaries aren't lining up for that distinction.

Still, Republican legislators say they will probably try to pass a broader bill limiting the use of public assistance for any kind of recreational or medical cannabis in the next session.

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160 comments
Jasmine Duran
Jasmine Duran

Idiots! Pull the money out of an atm other than the one at the dispensary. Common fricking sense!

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Speaking of REAL welfare:


Now, let’s consider the other kind of welfare.

Definition: corporate welfare

n. Financial aid, such as a subsidy, provided by a government to corporations or other businesses.

The Cato Institute estimated that, in 2002, $93 billion were devoted to corporate welfare. This is about 5 percent of the federal budget.

What is NOT considered corporate welfare?
  1. Government Contracts - To clarify what is and isn’t corporate welfare, a “no-bid” Iraq contract for the prestigious Halliburton, would not be considered corporate welfare because the government technically directly receives some good or service in exchange for this expenditure. Based on the Pentagon’s Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) findings of $1.4 billion of overcharging and fraud, I suppose the primary service they provide could be considered to be repeatedly violating the American taxpayer.
  2. Tax Breaks – Tax breaks targeted to benefit specific corporations could also be considered a form of welfare. Tax loopholes force other businesses and individual taxpayers without the same political clout to pick up the slack and sacrifice a greater share of their hard-earned money to decrease the financial burden on these corporations. However, to simplify matters, we’ve only included financial handouts to companies in our working definition of corporate welfare.
What IS considered corporate welfare?
  • Subsidies – On the other hand, the $15 billion in subsidies contained in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, to the oil, gas, and coal industries, would be considered corporate welfare because no goods or services are directly returned to the government in exchange for these expenditures.
Infographic Source: http://awesome.good.is/transparency/web/1012/subsidize-this/flat.html

Whenever corporate welfare is presented to voters, it always sounds like a pretty reasonable, well-intended idea. Politicians say that they’re stimulating the economy or helping struggling industries or creating jobs or funding important research. But when you steal money from the paychecks of working people, you hurt the economy by reducing their ability to buy the things they want or need. This decrease in demand damages other industries and puts people out of work.

Most of the pigs at the government trough are among the biggest companies in America, including:

Farm Subsidies

However, the largest fraction of corporate welfare spending, about 40%, went through the Department of Agriculture, most of it in the form of farm subsidies. (Edwards, Corporate Welfare, 2003) Well, that sounds OK. Someone’s got to help struggling family farms stay afloat, right? But in reality, farm subsidies actually tilt the cotton field in favor of the largest industrial farming operations. When it comes to deciding how to dole out the money, the agricultural subsidy system utilizes a process that is essentially the opposite of that used in the social welfare system’s welfare system. In the corporate welfare system, the more money and assets you have, the more government assistance you get. Conversely, social welfare programs are set up so that the more money and assets you have, the less government assistance you get. The result is that the absolute largest 7% of corporate farming operations receive 45% of all subsidies. (Edwards, Downsizing the Federal Government, 2004) So instead of protecting family farms, these subsidies actually enhance the ability of large industrial operations to shut them out of the market.

Graph Source: http://ers.usda.gov/data

Wal-Mart.  Always high subsidies.  Always.

The same is true in all other industries, too. The government gives tons of favors to the largest corporations, increasing the significant advantage they already have over smaller competing businesses. If, in the court of public opinion, Wal-Mart has been tried and convicted for the murder of main street, mom-and-pop America, then the government could easily be found guilty as a willing accomplice. Wal-Mart receives hundreds of millions of dollars of subsidization by local governments throughout the country. These subsidies take the form of bribes by local politicians trying to convince Wal-Mart to come to their town with the dream of significant job creation. Of course, from that follows a larger tax base. For example, a distribution center in Macclenny, Florida received $9 million in government subsidies in the form of free land, government-funded recruitment and training of employees, targeted tax breaks, and housing subsidies for employees allowing them to be paid significantly lower wages. A study by Good Jobs First found that 244 Wal-Marts around the country had received over $1 billion in government favors.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

It's cute how the nanny state conservatives want to micromanage other people's lives.

Sher Quintana
Sher Quintana

How many buy alcohol? There are certain things you cannot buy with the card...so put mj on the list if you dont want them buying it...

Drew Davies
Drew Davies

Next thing you know they'll be discussing whether welfare recipients should have the right to buy Cheetos because they might be eating them because of the weed they smoked which was paid for by the money they got at dispensary ATM's. Can we the news report on something worth a damn, and politicians worry about some important for a change?

Jake Becker
Jake Becker

If its true its a major problem silly stoners! Lol. For real tho I dont wanna pay for ppls fucking weed out of my hard earned checks. How bout UAs for welfare? Like most productive members of society have to take for jobs!?

Virgil Dunn
Virgil Dunn

Nope. The comment was towards him "not giving a fuck" about studies, even though he clearly gave enough of one to comment. Enjoy.

Taint
Taint

Why do they get cash?

Clara Madrid
Clara Madrid

No the pot shops follow strict money trail rules. They are fully aware that they are under a microscope. This is scare tactic propaganda.

Sonja Smith
Sonja Smith

Hey Darren how have you been? I find it very interesting and telling the nobody ever addresses the facts in my posts, they just attack. This tells me it is they that are taking it personal. Shit I just want to keep my money, I could actually afford to maybe own a home or something if I didn't owe the IRS thousands right now. What a horrible person I am huh lol.... Happy Friday Darren!

WillieStortz
WillieStortz topcommenter

I just assume that every pot smoker is on welfare and stealing money from the working taxpayers. 

This comes as no surprise for me.

My guess is that 50% of welfare payments got to drugs and/or kiddie porn. 

Darren Lyman
Darren Lyman

Sonja, don't let the trolls get cha. Trolls make it personal, commentators & other great discusses (non troll) keep it factual.

Jeffrey Von Stetten
Jeffrey Von Stetten

I don't think that's too cool. That should come from a different funding source. Cash at least.

Jen Stretch
Jen Stretch

Why the fuck can you even use them to get cash in the first place....

Jay Reed
Jay Reed

They want to ruin it...revolution here

Robin Shaw
Robin Shaw

Those cards should be used for grocery food and sundries only!! Anything else is a luxury item. The hard working taxpayer doesn't always have money for these items after taxes are taken out of their paychecks to help pay for these cards. Seriously.,. I don't even know why there is a debate!

Samuel Blueford
Samuel Blueford

Either way, pot is going to be bought. Welfare is the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group, or organization; I mean would you buy weed if you were a pot head on welfare? Haha don't knock it, til you've been there and done that!

Stephanie Marie
Stephanie Marie

No actually i can't help who comes in to get their hair done etc. and I didnt know about my business partner till it was too late. She always had new shit so i had no clue she was on welfare etc. And ps i thought it was wrong the whole time. But I only knew towards the end and it is one of the reasons why we went our seperate ways. You learn alot about somebody when u try to start a business. Also the other person was my bestfriends cousin so it wasnt like i was trying to hang out with her. Just an acquaintance. And AGAIN when I found out what she was about i stood up for my beliefs etc and we never talked again. Her own cousin told me about it cuz she was ashamed. But thank you all for judging me. I'm not a hypocrite. My health is bad enough that I could collect too but I wasnt raised to take govt money at all. Quite an assumption when I never said what i thought about my business partner or that it only changed after we split..... I found out when we were already about to open and kicked her out promptly esp when she never came up with her half of the money and would leave me with her child and then sued me after for it lying and saying she'd done all this stuff. And darling it is you're. Do u flock with uneducated people? Lol and do you flock with people who judge people theyve never met? Thats not so great either..... We could all put each other down and say stupid shit but i don't kick with people like that either. So I've wasted enough time on strangers who wanna judge me.

Darrell Dimler
Darrell Dimler

It shouldnt be ok to use welfare for pot. Support your own fucking habits. ..i do..frequently But right now im broke, so i dont smoke. Dont be an ass,there are people who really need that ebt card to feed their children.

Cocknor Rowland
Cocknor Rowland

I work at Walmart...I see people spend their $200 on food, then buy a tv, or some other useless shit on a second transaction... Yeah and people like me who work 40 hours and still cant make a living?

Suazo Allysa
Suazo Allysa

Food stamps are now able to not be spent buying certain items that are not food at the store. They should be able to use the same technology to stop people from doing this. JFC.

John Wayne Claybaugh
John Wayne Claybaugh

Has anyone considered that in Colorado if you are deemed able to work you have to work for your food benefits? I work just as hard as the next able body person on benefits, by the way, but don't receive as much as many of them.

Stephanie Mondragon
Stephanie Mondragon

For those with cash benefits from EBT they can use ANY ATM to withdraw cash and use that cash however they want. Why is it that if someone uses an EBT card for cash at an ATM in the damn liquor stores nobody complains?

Cecily Leora
Cecily Leora

If you're on welfare, you can't afford the luxury of weed! Sorry I'm not sorry. Wtf. As a tax paying citizen, I don't want to buy you weed!!!.....Or anything of that matter, considering most people abuse such "privileges" as government assistance... I'm just forced too!

Megan Munzert
Megan Munzert

It is the working class right to know how government welfare money is being spent. It should be heavily monitored. I wish I could get things for free. Effing freeloaders.

Skidmore Falldama
Skidmore Falldama

I'm not demonizing cannabis but I am demonizing welfare abuse which is exactly what this is.

Erica Lucero
Erica Lucero

Finally someone who knows actual facts! Correct. The gvmnt pays way more in salaries to distribute these funds than what they pay out in the program. Notice he deleted his comment? He decided he had o idea what he was talking about.

Dominic Fante
Dominic Fante

At my job I see people using ebt cards to buy soda, junk food and cash in for cigarettes... how is that any better? why only focus on pot?

David Murphy
David Murphy

really? just google that topic and tell us all what you come up with. The money saved by eliminated the tiny amount of fraud that there is, is shadowed by the cost of implementing a testing program. Additionally, the story is ridiculous. People on welfare might very well buy pot, but not from dispensaries...way too damn expensive when they can still buy it on the street

Suzanne Houston Nash
Suzanne Houston Nash

Don't see it as a problem. Once you've paid the IRS, that money is GONE.

Suzanne Houston Nash
Suzanne Houston Nash

Not only that, the government bureaucrats who administer the program are making money as well. so of that $15, probably $10 goes to their salaries.

Suzanne Houston Nash
Suzanne Houston Nash

If they do it there, or across the street at King Soopers, what's the difference? MONEY IS FUNGIBLE.

Nick Murphy
Nick Murphy

I smoke and I think it is wrong that money is not for your smoking habit it is for your children and very base necessitys quit letting people pay for your habit

Emery TJ Gabrielson
Emery TJ Gabrielson

That's kind of funny. Not good for these people to do though. Although I'm not one to talk.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

Does the anonymous William Breathes use "Welfare cards...at pot shop ATMs" to score marijuana?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... Stoners are notoriously lazy.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Clara Madrid "No the pot shops follow strict money trail rules"


LOL!

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@WillieStortz And I just assume you're an ass.

Most kiddy porn is consumed by conservatives:

-- Republican County Councilman Keola Childs pleaded guilty to molesting a male child.

-- Republican candidate Richard Gardner,a Nevada State Representative, admitted to molesting his two daughters.

-- Republican Councilman and former Marine Jack W. Gardner had been convicted of molesting a 13-year old girl. when the Republican Party, knowing of these crimes, put him on the ballot.

-- Republican County Commissioner Merrill Robert Barter pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy.

-- Republican City Councilman Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr. pleaded no contest to raping a 15 year-old girl and served 6-months in prison. Republican activist Parker J. Bena pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000.

-- Republican parole board officer and former Colorado state representative, Larry Jack Schwarz, was fired after child pornography was found in his possession. With his political career over, he went to work in the hard-core pornography industry for Platinum X Pictures, owned by his daughter, porn starlet Jewel De'Nyle (Stephany Schwarz).

-- Republican strategist and Citadel Military College graduate Robin Vanderwall, director of Faith & Family Alliance, (a Christian Coalition spin off), former student of Pat Robertson's Regent University, member of Ralph Reed's inner circle who funneled money to from lobbyist Jack Abramoff to Reed, was convicted in Virginia on five counts of soliciting sex from boys and girls over the internet.

-- Republican city councilman Mark Harris, who is described as a "good military man" and "church goer," was convicted of repeatedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

-- Republican businessman Jon Grunseth withdrew his candidacy for Minnesota governor after allegations surfaced that he went swimming in the nude with four underage girls, including his daughter.

-- Republican director of the "Young Republican Federation" Nicholas Elizondo molested his 6-year old daughter and was sentenced to six years in prison.

-- Republican president of the New York City Housing Development Corp. Russell Harding pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer.

-- Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, Richard A. Dasen Sr., 62, who is married with grown children and several grandchildren, allegedly told police that over the past decade he paid more than $1 million to have sex with a large number of young women. He was found guilty of raping a 15-year old girl, and his sentences added up to 126 years in prison.

-- Age 62 Republican Party leader Bobby Stumbo of Denton County, Kentucky was arrested for having sex with a 5-year old boy.

-- Republican teacher and former city councilman John Collins of Asbury Park, New Jersey plead guilty to sexually molesting 13 and 14 year old girls.

-- Republican Mayor John Gosek of Oswego, New York was arrested on charges of soliciting sex from two 15-year old girls.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Because we love to confront hypocrites that whine when they micromanage other people's lives.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Yeah, those wal mart trust fund babies are so greedy they won't pay their help.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Yeah, whiny little clowns should be able to micromanage other people's lives.  They said so on fauKKKs "news."

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

And your "facts" come from where?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... proof that Drug Addicts have NO LOYALTY to anyone or anything but their wretched addiction.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@GuestWho ... does he smoke around his newborn child, if he's such a firm believer in his "miracle weed"?


muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@WillieStortz 

-- Republican Commissioner ( of Richland County, Ohio ) David Swartz pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 11 and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

-- Republican Speaker of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives, Edison Misla Aldarondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping his daughter between the ages of 9 and 17.

-- Republican Committeeman John R. Curtain was charged with molesting a teenage boy and unlawful sexual contact with a minor.

-- Republican anti-abortion activist Howard Scott Heldreth anti-abortion activist who gained fame during the Schiavo media-circus, was convicted of two charges of raping a child in 2002 .

-- Republican anti-abortion activist Nicholas Morency pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer and offering a bounty to anybody who murders an abortion doctor.

-- Republican campaign consultant Tom Shortridge was sentenced to three years probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year old girl.

-- Republican pastor Mike Hintz,a First Assembly of God youth pastor whom George W. Bush commended during the 2004 presidential campaign, surrendered to police after admitting to a sexual affair with a female juvenile.

-- Republican legislator Peter Dibble pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl.

-- Republican advertising consultant Carey Lee Cramer was charged with molesting his 9-year old step-daughter after including her in an anti-Gore television commercial.

-- Republican lobbyist Craig J. Spence organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.

-- Republican activist and Christian Coalition leader Beverly Russell admitted to an incestuous relationship with his step daughter, the Susan Smith who drowned her adorable two sons "in cold blood" in a South Carolina lake in 1995.

-- Republican Judge Ronald C. Kline was placed under house arrest for child molestation and possession of child pornography.

-- Republican preacher Stephen White, who demanded a return to traditional values, was sentenced to jail after offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him.

-- Republican talk show host Jon Matthews pleaded guilty to exposing his genitals to an 11 year old girl.

-- Republican anti-gay activist Earl "Butch" Kimmerling was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her.

-- Republican Party leader Paul Ingram pleaded guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison.

-- Republican election board official Kevin Coan was sentenced to two years probation for soliciting sex over the internet from a 14-year old girl.

-- Republican Tennessee State Representative, Keith Westmoreland was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to girls under the age of 16 (i.e. exposing himself to children).

-- Republican anti-abortion activist John Allen Burt was found guilty of molesting a 15-year old girl at the home for troubled girls that he ran.

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