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Getting High on the Taxpayers Dime
Townhall.com ^ | March 10, 2014 | Morgan Brittany

Posted on 03/10/2014 11:59:43 AM PDT by Kaslin

You knew it was coming.With the legalization of pot in Colorado and other states, it has been discovered that over the past few months, purchases of marijuana in pot dispensaries have been paid for with cash from welfare benefits.

The purchase of marijuana is strictly a cash business so it was obvious that ATM machines should be made available inside the dispensaries for easy access to money.That’s fine except that there is no distinction between a credit/debit card and an EBT card.

Taxpayers have given this money to people that are “in need of assistance”, not to people who need to get “high”.In one month in Colorado 19 different marijuana retail stores had a least one welfare recipient walk in, use a Quest card and withdraw money from an ATM machine inside the store.It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what they were buying.Welfare clients used state-issued debit cards in stores with names like “Medicine Man”, “Starbuds” and “MMJ Uptown”.Gee, can’t imagine what they sell.

An investigation showed that a majority of people use the money for rent, household supplies and items for their children, but the Colorado Department of Human Services admits that there are those that abuse the system.

According to National Review:

At least 64 times, public-assistance benefits were accessed at businesses selling marijuana. A total of $5,475 in public benefits was withdrawn at ATMs in establishments that sell pot. This figure includes medicinal dispensaries, recreational stores, and at least one place that combines the two. Some of these establishments sell groceries as well as pot, so there is no way to know exactly how much welfare money was spent on marijuana.

The amounts withdrawn ranged from $20 to $400, averaging $85.55, according to the transaction records. In Colorado, the average household receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits includes one adult and two children, and the maximum monthly benefit for them is $462.

Unfortunately, Colorado lawmakers failed to pass legislation that would prohibit the use of EBT card withdrawals inside of marijuana shops, medical-marijuana dispensaries and strip clubs, but last year they did pass a law stopping EBT transactions at gun shops, bars, liquor stores and gambling establishments.When Colorado Amendment 64 was passed to legalize marijuana, the Republicans wanted it to be treated the same as alcohol.This new bill that was defeated by the Democrats in the State Senate basically opens the door for your tax dollars to be used by welfare recipients for weed and lap dances.

Arizona Congressman Paul A. Gozar (R) just this past week has introduced legislation called the “No Welfare for Weed” Act (H.R. 4142).It would prohibit the purchase of marijuana products using TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits.SNAP EBT cards can be used if marijuana is sold from a vendor who also sells food.

Congressman Gosar explains it this way:

"Regardless of your feelings on States’ Rights, 'medical' marijuana or recreational marijuana, people shouldn’t be able to get high using hard-earned taxpayer money. The sole purpose of this bill is to prohibit marijuana from being purchased with SNAP and TANF benefits. These programs are meant to provide subsidies for food and other basic living essentials for the neediest families. Unfortunately, there are always unscrupulous people looking for ways to game the system, which makes this commonsense update to federal law necessary. Taxpayers expect and deserve a lean, efficient government. Accordingly, I will do everything in my power to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse whenever possible, including preventing the use of federal welfare benefits to purchase weed."

Entitlement fraud is rampant, we all know it, and government is too big to even get a handle on it.So now our hard earned tax dollars are not just being redistributed to some people who don’t want to work, but know how to work the system, but now we are paying for them to get “high on OUR dime!”

Hopefully Congressman Gosar’s bill will pass and some restraints will be put on this rampant abuse.If not, then we all may as well join a “Choom Gang”!


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: ebtcards; marijuana
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1 posted on 03/10/2014 11:59:43 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I was told by libertarians (some here) this would not happen if we legalized it.


2 posted on 03/10/2014 12:05:25 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Kaslin

I thought it was WIC approved...


3 posted on 03/10/2014 12:06:05 PM PDT by cuban leaf
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To: Resolute Conservative

If only Libertarians were as vocal about Welfare as they are dope and whores.


4 posted on 03/10/2014 12:10:19 PM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: Resolute Conservative

Would someone please explain to me why putting smoke in your lungs is the devil

UNLESS

It comes from a marijuana plant.

There is a speed called “warp stupid”, and liberaldom has found it.


5 posted on 03/10/2014 12:10:34 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: Kaslin

They just buy the marijuana brownies because of their nutritional value. I crack myself up sometimes.


6 posted on 03/10/2014 12:10:58 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Resolute Conservative

What is the difference between the welfare recipient outside of Colorado using his/her entitlements to purchase illegal marijuana and inside Colorado? It all comes from our taxpayer dollars. The difference is that the money in Colorado doesn’t go to Mexican drug lords.


7 posted on 03/10/2014 12:12:44 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: blueunicorn6
.SNAP EBT cards can be used if marijuana is sold from a vendor who also sells food.

They didn't inhale.

8 posted on 03/10/2014 12:13:53 PM PDT by MUDDOG
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To: Resolute Conservative

Is there a difference between them using the card in the ATM in the shop or down the block?

An EBT Card is given to an individual to use as they see fit. That is the problem - not an ATM in a head shop.

As a side note there is a difference between an EBT card and a SNAP (Food Stamp) Card.


9 posted on 03/10/2014 12:14:46 PM PDT by PeteB570 ( Islam is the sea in which the Terrorist Shark swims. The deeper the sea the larger the shark.)
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To: xzins

Vaporizers and edibles put no smoke in your lungs.


10 posted on 03/10/2014 12:15:07 PM PDT by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: Kaslin
Taxpayers have given this money to people that are “in need of assistance”

LOL. That's an old school way of thinking.
11 posted on 03/10/2014 12:15:24 PM PDT by posterchild
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To: steve86

I’ve seen too many pictures of joints and bongs.

(If those vaporizers are the same 1960’s moms used to use with Vicks VapoRub in it, then they are breathing it into their lungs. If they’re different, then fine.)


12 posted on 03/10/2014 12:17:12 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: Kaslin

Drug tests!
Now!


13 posted on 03/10/2014 12:17:42 PM PDT by right way right (America has embraced the suck of Freedumb.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

And that makes it ok?


14 posted on 03/10/2014 12:18:55 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Kaslin

Morgan Brittany?? Aren’t there some sort of rules about this?


15 posted on 03/10/2014 12:21:16 PM PDT by irishjuggler
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To: Resolute Conservative

Don’t care. If libs want to kill themselves, have at it. Now, legalize heroin and cocaine.


16 posted on 03/10/2014 12:21:26 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Insurgent Conservative)
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To: xzins

Vapes are totally different, like e-cigs. Vapor, no smoke. No, I haven’t tried them.


17 posted on 03/10/2014 12:21:38 PM PDT by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: PeteB570

In most states SNAP and EBT benefits are combined on a single card, such as the “Quest” card.


18 posted on 03/10/2014 12:22:43 PM PDT by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: Resolute Conservative

No, it doesn’t. I am just asking why you are picking on Colorado? It is done everywhere that there are druggies, drug dealers, and ATMs.


19 posted on 03/10/2014 12:25:30 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

So before they die they can still vote and also rob people and burglarize houses to get their fix money... the math just doesn’t add up.


20 posted on 03/10/2014 12:26:07 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Resolute Conservative

The position of the libertarian is that there would be no SNAP or EBT cards, or even the benefit programs.

If people didn’t work, they’d starve. And the problem would be solved.


21 posted on 03/10/2014 12:32:13 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: Resolute Conservative

“So before they die they can still vote and also rob people and burglarize houses to get their fix money... the math just doesn’t add up.”

They should knock themselves out. Hopefully after a few “self defense” cases, someone will buy a clue.


22 posted on 03/10/2014 12:33:19 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Insurgent Conservative)
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To: xzins
He said vaporizes put no smoke in your lungs - and he is correct.

Vaporizers, by definition, put vapor in your lungs - just like e-cigarettes.

23 posted on 03/10/2014 12:33:49 PM PDT by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: Resolute Conservative

In which case, the homeowners can shoot them.

And thus, we decrease the problem in a permanent fashion, at a very low cost to the taxpayers.

The solution to this and other problems isn’t “more laws.” The solution to this and other problems is to kill more useless people.

Conservatives ought learn something about evolution and natural selection. It works wonders for cleaning up the gene pool.


24 posted on 03/10/2014 12:34:07 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: Kaslin

So?

There is no way to distinguish what money drawn from an ATM is spent on and I don’t think there is a realistic way to prohibit installation of the machines anywhere.

Further, how are we to distinguish why someone is self medicating.

Even further still, if they want to blow their assistance on idiocy like MJ or booze, then they should starve for being so dumb or be investigated if they are abusing the system paid for by the extorted patronage of the citizenry.


25 posted on 03/10/2014 12:35:48 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: right way right
Drug tests! Now!

Because the way to deal with 5000 bucks being spent on weed by people getting government money is to institute a comprehensive system of urine tests involving lab work, collection facilities, technicians, administrators and enforcement agents. That'll save us that five grand, easy!

26 posted on 03/10/2014 12:37:04 PM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: NVDave

If you are lucky enough to be home and not at work paying your fair share. Remember also the mountain you face if you off one of these registered democrats (which I am all for, just sayin’).


27 posted on 03/10/2014 12:37:04 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Kaslin
The sole purpose of this bill is to prohibit marijuana from being purchased with SNAP and TANF benefits.

Nothing prevents them from getting money out at the grocery store and taking that cash to the pot store.

28 posted on 03/10/2014 12:37:57 PM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: Kaslin

EBT cards should NEVER be able to be used as cash cards. It makes it too easy on the beneficiaries. At least make them have to work at it, buying permitted items and reselling them. At best, they should be getting their food and household needs from warehouses that only provide permitted goods, and are the only places that accept EBT. Rice, beans, flour, oil/shortening, canned foods, seasonings, fresh produce when in season, plentiful and cheap, kids’ vitamins, cleaning supplies, toilet paper.

Those on section 8 or other housing programs should be subjected to home inspections as well. Follow the rules, stay on the program.


29 posted on 03/10/2014 12:38:08 PM PDT by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: Kaslin

I first laughed hysterically, then I got the munchies for Mac ‘N Cheese.


30 posted on 03/10/2014 12:38:12 PM PDT by Usagi_yo (Standardization is an Evolutionary dead end.)
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To: Resolute Conservative

Indeed, true.

But we need to quit giving deadbeats a chance to reproduce. There’s few problems in this country right now that cannot be solved with the deaths of the right people.


31 posted on 03/10/2014 12:41:04 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: Blood of Tyrants

“The difference is that the money in Colorado doesn’t go to Mexican drug lords.”

The end of alcohol prohibition did not end organized crime. In fact in some cases it legitimized the gang and gave it political power.

I won’t be too surprised if the cartels are not involved in “legal cannabis”.


32 posted on 03/10/2014 12:42:33 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: NVDave

I concur.


33 posted on 03/10/2014 12:42:39 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: AppyPappy
If only Libertarians were as vocal about Welfare as they are dope and whores.

If only conservatives were serious about ending welfare, and stopped flapping their gums about it. You guys need welfare to exist just as much as the liberals do. Maybe more. Without welfare you would lose your biggest excuse for sending wannabe ninjas with sub-machine guns to smash in people's doors at 4:00 AM to kill the kids and house pets of the occupants.

Two states legalized weed and the promised zombie apocalypse never happened. But hey, ya'll still have that welfare crutch to lean on. Without welfare you have lost a big reason to meddle in the lives of 300,000,000 americans. Which is why it will never be ended. Both wings of the big government party need it.

34 posted on 03/10/2014 12:48:06 PM PDT by Orangedog (An optimist is someone who tells you to 'cheer up' when things are going his way)
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To: DBrow

The end of alcohol prohibition ended all but a tiny portion of alcohol/gang activity. When was the last time a liquor store owner shot another over turf infringement? The end of prohibition was an end to many gangs (like the Kennedys), but others just shifted over to other vices.


35 posted on 03/10/2014 12:52:55 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: Orangedog

Without welfare you would lose your biggest excuse for sending wannabe ninjas with sub-machine guns to smash in people’s doors at 4:00 AM to kill the kids and house pets of the occupants....I never knew cops wanted soeone’s welfare check. Who knew?


36 posted on 03/10/2014 12:56:45 PM PDT by Safetgiver ( Islam makes barbarism look genteel.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

When did the Kennedys end as a gang? We just saw them use family influence to get an OUI acquitted.


37 posted on 03/10/2014 12:57:11 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: Kaslin
Arizona Congressman Paul A. Gozar (R) just this past week has introduced legislation called the “No Welfare for Weed” Act (H.R. 4142).It would prohibit the purchase of marijuana products using TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. SNAP EBT cards can be used if marijuana is sold from a vendor who also sells food.

The exemption makes no sense. All a "dispensary" would have to do is set up a display of Hostess cupcakes (and Mallomars! Yum!). Munchies for the dopers and Viola! The vender "sells food."

I saw this story a month or so ago. The Dems are whining that the ATM systems can't be made to differentiate between a grocery store location or a pothead dispensary. As usual with the Rats, that is total BS because EBTs can't be used in Casinos. There's tracking, but the Rats don't want to use it.

38 posted on 03/10/2014 1:00:13 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Resolute Conservative
So before they die they can still vote and also rob people and burglarize houses to get their fix money...

Ye gods. Have you ever met a coke addict, even once? I can assure you that the last thing on their to-do list is go down to the polls on election day. And if drugs are legal they will be cheap and easy enough to get a lethal dose before they get to stealing the Tom-Tom out of your Honda. These problems tend to solve themselves once you get out of the business of saving people from themselves.

39 posted on 03/10/2014 1:00:35 PM PDT by Orangedog (An optimist is someone who tells you to 'cheer up' when things are going his way)
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To: Resolute Conservative

No, it doesn’t make it ok. But if using welfare dollars to buy something means that something should be illegal, then it’s going to be a long list including cigarettes, booze, junk food...


40 posted on 03/10/2014 1:01:33 PM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Blood of Tyrants

“When was the last time a liquor store owner shot another over turf infringement? “

I think but am not quite sure, but I think it was Whitey Bulger and the liquor store in South Boston. Just coincidentally the gentleman Whitey stole it from was murdered recently. There were other deaths associated with the Liquor Mart.

Today, you are correct, the proper way to compete is to bribe a city official into denying or pulling a liquor license from a competitor.


41 posted on 03/10/2014 1:02:05 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: Kaslin

Liberal Economics:

Legalize dope

Give people money to buy the legalized dope

Tax the sale

Pay off the National Debt with the tax proceeds


42 posted on 03/10/2014 1:03:46 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Albert Einstein: The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: DBrow

Well, they stopped direct racketeering. Now they just buy their way out of trouble.


43 posted on 03/10/2014 1:04:10 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: Safetgiver
I never knew cops wanted soeone’s welfare check. Who knew?

Um, no. Welfare is the last excuse for the asinine, failed drug war. "ZOMG...them potheads are taking welfare money and buying weed legally!" Nevermind the cigarettes, malt liquor, twinkies and doritos. That stuff hasn't been worth getting worked up about. Especially since it's the same money.

44 posted on 03/10/2014 1:05:26 PM PDT by Orangedog (An optimist is someone who tells you to 'cheer up' when things are going his way)
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To: NVDave

Killing ‘useless people’ has nothing to do with natural selection or evolution.


45 posted on 03/10/2014 1:08:08 PM PDT by Fuzz
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To: DBrow

“Today, you are correct, the proper way to compete is to bribe a city official into denying or pulling a liquor license from a competitor.”

At least that is how they do it in Rat controlled cities.


46 posted on 03/10/2014 1:08:20 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: Kaslin

Could fix this issue...drug test for benefits.

Just sayin’


47 posted on 03/10/2014 1:37:33 PM PDT by PubliusMM (RKBA; a matter of fact, not opinion. 01-20-2016; I pray we make it that long.)
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To: NVDave; Resolute Conservative
The question is a philosophical one. Does one support policies that are right in a perfect world or only ones that are right in the world in which we live?

It is proper to be against something solely because if it exists along side another government policy it will cause harm? Wouldn't it be more proper to simply be against the policy which causes the harm?

48 posted on 03/10/2014 1:48:29 PM PDT by nitzy
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To: steve86

In the story in question they said they used EBT cards.


49 posted on 03/10/2014 1:50:44 PM PDT by PeteB570 ( Islam is the sea in which the Terrorist Shark swims. The deeper the sea the larger the shark.)
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To: Cyber Liberty

You can use a SNAP card in a Quick Stop because it has both food items and booze. But you can’t use it to purchase Booze - just the food items.

You can use an EBT card to buy both.


50 posted on 03/10/2014 1:53:26 PM PDT by PeteB570 ( Islam is the sea in which the Terrorist Shark swims. The deeper the sea the larger the shark.)
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