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 A total of $5,475 in public benefits was withdrawn at ATMs in establishments that sell pot.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The amounts withdrawn ranged from $20 to $400, averaging $85.55, according to the transaction records.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.