Colorado lawmakers are concerned that stoners may be using food stamps and other government benefits to buy marijuana.
Republican Party members recently introduced a bill — Senate Bill 37 — to the Colorado General Assembly aimed at keeping the Centennial State’s high society from making legal weed purchases with the use of electronic benefit transfer accounts.
Colorado state law already prohibits the use of EBT cards for purchasing alcohol and tobacco, and these benefits have long since been banned in establishments that provide adult entertainment and gambling.
So far, there have not been any reported incidents of stoners making “welfare weed” acquisitions in Colorado, but lawmakers want an adjustment to the current law so that it includes retail pot shops and dispensaries.
“We need this bill, if for nothing else, as a statement,” said State Representative Jared Wright. “We shouldn’t be enabling anyone to buy a substance that is banned under federal law. It’s not a good use of taxpayer money.”
Although lawmakers are paranoid about the idea of Colorado residents using food stamps to buy weed, dispensary owners say that none of their customers have even attempted it. “I’ve never heard of it. We’ve never seen it in any of our locations,” Ryan Cook, manager of Denver’s retail marijuana chain, The Clinic, told USA Today.
Cannabusiness lobbing organization, The Marijuana Industry Group, says they have more important issues to tackle than the potential misuse of government benefits. “MIG is focused on addressing issues of public safety, such as access to banking, and working with state and local governments to educate the public about responsible use of marijuana and ensuring this product stays out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have it,” MIG Director Michael Elliott told USA Today.
The bill has yet to receive any debate before the Colorado General Assembly and so far, no hearing has been scheduled.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.