Author Topic: Welfare Money Goes to Pot In Colorado  (Read 412 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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Welfare Money Goes to Pot In Colorado
« on: February 26, 2014, 02:36:10 AM »
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/371814/welfare-money-goes-pot-colorado-jillian-kay-melchior

 February 24, 2014 10:08 AM
Welfare Money Goes to Pot In Colorado
Thousands of dollars in public withdrawn at marijuana-shop ATMs.
By Jillian Kay Melchior

During the first month of Colorado’s experiment with legal marijuana, welfare beneficiaries withdrew thousands of dollars in public-assistance cash from ATMs at weed shops, according to records obtained by National Review Online.

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 A total of $5,475 in public benefits was withdrawn at ATMs in establishments that sell pot.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The amounts withdrawn ranged from $20 to $400, averaging $85.55, according to the transaction records.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.
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Both the number of transactions and the amount withdrawn represent only a small fraction of the more than 42,000 electronic-benefits-transfer (EBT) withdrawals that occurred in Colorado in January. Nonetheless, the transactions demonstrate the Centennial State’s lack of oversight of improper use of welfare benefits.

Colorado lawmakers recently failed to pass legislation that would have prohibited EBT withdrawals at retail marijuana shops, medical-marijuana dispensaries, and strip clubs. Last year, they passed legislation forbidding such transactions at gambling establishments, gun shops, bars, and liquor stores.

“When we passed Amendment 64 to legalize marijuana, the main mantra of the campaign was, ‘Legalize marijuana like alcohol,’” Representative Dan Nordberg, a Republican from Colorado Springs, tells NRO. “But the bill was killed in the state senate, party line. Truth be told, you would think this is common sense, yet I’ve still not received a straight answer for why [Colorado’s Democrats] killed our bill and think it’s okay for welfare beneficiaries to withdraw public benefits in pot shops and strip clubs.”

Right now, the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Employment and Benefits Division has no legal authority to prevent public-benefit withdrawals at marijuana stores, says director Levetta Love. “We cannot assume that somebody who has accessed money at a retail marijuana shop has spent that money on marijuana,” Love observes. “There’s no correlation there. We don’t have any proof of that.”

Federal TANF funding is given in a block grant to states, which are tasked with administering the benefit. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, “in 2012, Colorado spent $124 million in federal TANF block grant funds.”

In 2012, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief Act, which requires states to “maintain policies and practices as necessary to prevent assistance provided under the State program funded under this part from being used in any electronic benefit transfer transaction in any liquor store; any casino, gambling casino, or gaming establishment; or any retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment.” The law fails to address marijuana stores.
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Online massadvj

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Re: Welfare Money Goes to Pot In Colorado
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2014, 06:53:05 AM »
“We cannot assume that somebody who has accessed money at a retail marijuana shop has spent that money on marijuana,” Love observes. “There’s no correlation there. We don’t have any proof of that.”

I should apply for a grant to do a study proving that welfare recipients who get cash from ATMs at marijuana shops DON'T use the money to buy pot.  I bet the State of Colorado would not hesitate to fund it.
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Welfare Money Goes to Pot In Colorado
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 01:03:22 PM »
“We cannot assume that somebody who has accessed money at a retail marijuana shop has spent that money on marijuana,” Love observes. “There’s no correlation there. We don’t have any proof of that.”

I should apply for a grant to do a study proving that welfare recipients who get cash from ATMs at marijuana shops DON'T use the money to buy pot.  I bet the State of Colorado would not hesitate to fund it.

I emailed this to a friend in CO - this was his reply

Quote
I was in Denver this last weekend for state wrestling tournament.

I passed TWO Pot Shops that actually had, "We accept EBT cards" signs in their windows.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline mountaineer

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Re: Welfare Money Goes to Pot In Colorado
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 03:31:53 PM »
I just wouldn't want to be driving the roads of Colorado at this point. Yikes.
The skeptic is never for real. There he stands, cocktail in hand, left arm draped languorously on one end of the mantelpiece, telling you that he can't be sure of anything, not even of his own existence. I'll give you my secret method of demolishing universal skepticism in four words. Whisper to him: "Your fly is open." If he thinks knowledge is so all-fired impossible, why does he always look? — James Sire (from, The Universe Next Door)

Offline Oceander

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Re: Welfare Money Goes to Pot In Colorado
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 03:32:58 PM »
“We cannot assume that somebody who has accessed money at a retail marijuana shop has spent that money on marijuana,” Love observes. “There’s no correlation there. We don’t have any proof of that.”

I should apply for a grant to do a study proving that welfare recipients who get cash from ATMs at marijuana shops DON'T use the money to buy pot.  I bet the State of Colorado would not hesitate to fund it.

We could make that a group study!  Funding for all of TBR!

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Welfare Money Goes to Pot In Colorado
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 04:36:37 PM »
I just wouldn't want to be driving the roads of Colorado at this point. Yikes.
Do you believe the percent of people smoking weed and driving in Colorado, is significantly different than other states?
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Offline mountaineer

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Re: Welfare Money Goes to Pot In Colorado
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 04:42:29 PM »
Do you believe the percent of people smoking weed and driving in Colorado, is significantly different than other states?
Do you believe it's less?
The skeptic is never for real. There he stands, cocktail in hand, left arm draped languorously on one end of the mantelpiece, telling you that he can't be sure of anything, not even of his own existence. I'll give you my secret method of demolishing universal skepticism in four words. Whisper to him: "Your fly is open." If he thinks knowledge is so all-fired impossible, why does he always look? — James Sire (from, The Universe Next Door)

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Welfare Money Goes to Pot In Colorado
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 04:59:56 PM »
Do you believe it's less?
I doubt that "legalization" has impacted total usage by much, there or anywhere else.
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Online massadvj

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Re: Welfare Money Goes to Pot In Colorado
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2014, 05:16:39 PM »
There's some evidence that legalized pot increases DUI.  It was up 9 percent in Washington.


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/drivers-test-positive-pot-cannabis-legalization-wash-cops-article-1.1527867
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Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Welfare Money Goes to Pot In Colorado
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2014, 06:43:22 PM »
There's some evidence that legalized pot increases DUI.  It was up 9 percent in Washington.


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/drivers-test-positive-pot-cannabis-legalization-wash-cops-article-1.1527867

Carefully reading the entire article reveals the increase in those with a level of intoxication from pot increases 5% year over year, not 9%.

Out of 745 people that tested positive for pot in their systems, only 420 had levels above the legal amount deeded safe for driving.
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