Welfare for Weed? Let the Poor Choose for Themselves

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When Colorado made it plain that they wanted in on the revolution that will decriminalize marijuana use by becoming the first state to allow marijuana to be sold for recreational purposes, cheers were heard across the country.  When news spread that this industry would not be connected to banks via credit and debit card access, a cash only process was instituted and ATMs were installed. No problems here, right?

Well, the problem arose when authorities recognized that many of these ATMs were equipped to be used by people with government assistance cards (welfare) which indirectly indicates that a person who is receiving welfare could in fact, enter a marijuana shop, withdraw federal funds allocated to them because they are low income and buy pot.

The headlines across the country rang out: Welfare for Weed In Colorado! These headlines automatically assumed that because the ATMs were accessible to EBT/Welfare benefits that they would be used primarily for that purpose. A bill was introduced that would prohibit EBT/Welfare transactions in marijuana shops but this bill has yet to be passed.

It seems the war on poverty is not really about assisting those who are living at poverty level to rise above it. It seems that this war on poverty is about regulating what the poor can spend their rations on, judging them harshly for any indulgence that is not deemed proper by the powers that be.

I say, leave the ATMs alone. No one is even promising that welfare recipients will use their benefits to buy pot. You are jumping to conclusions because you want to have something to criticize to make yourself feel better about your lot in life. Even if welfare recipients do decide to buy pot with a portion of their ration, how will that impact you? It is the same amount of money being given regardless of whether they buy food or a joint. They could buy a burger or pork chops. It is their money and their choice. They have to deal with the budgeting in their homes and will have to answer for their choices.

The majority of people who are living at poverty level have a survival skill set they have developed which unfortunately, will never allow them to move past the poverty level but will allow them to have a content life with what they have. They may cut a few corners and bend a few rules to experience many of life’s pleasures but allow them to have that, they will never be a threat to the big businesses or corporations if they continue to indulge in public assistance and engage in the poverty mentality.

Scrutinizing everything they buy with government money is like offering a child a dime and then becoming frustrated that he bought a gumball with it. You gave the money away, allow them to use the puny ration for whatever they can to make their lives feel more full.

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