January 21, 2014

Welfare Weed In Colorado

Marijuana users in Colorado are enjoying their new found freedom in being able to smoke marijuana legally, as well as medically. However, taxpayers may not realize there is a 'hidden tax' involved in the legalization.

January 21, 2013
Andrew Pontbriand

Because of a loophole, Welfare recipients are able to withdraw cash from ATM's located inside of Pot Shops to purchase the marijuana, and a State Senate Committee blocked a Republican proposal to end it.

From the Associated Press:

Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins, said Colorado’s new legal pot industry needs to make sure not to invite federal scrutiny through improper cash withdrawals at recreational or medical marijuana stores.

“Already we are operating an industry which is not allowed under federal law,” said Marble, one of the chief lawmakers involved with Colorado’s marijuana regulation bills.
If federal authorities notice public benefit card use at marijuana shops, “I have a feeling we’re going to see trouble we’re not ready to deal with,” she said.

Democrats on the committee said some neighborhoods have few ATMs, and the Legislature should address those banking deserts before piling on places where public assistance cards can’t be used.

“I’m not comfortable limiting that access until I’m certain we’ve done that due diligence to make sure people can access their benefits when they need to,” Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, said.

As Sen. Vicki Marble pointed out, Marijuana is legal in Colorado, but it is still a Scheduled drug by the Feds. Now that welfare recipients are using their benefits to purchase this drug, some serious issues arise. Since there is already a pretty heavy tax (25%) on the purchase, essentially this adds a 'hidden tax', albeit a small one, as taxpayers who work and purchase marijuana, are also helping pay for the weed of those who are on welfare.

Republicans proposed a list of where these ATM's would be banned, ands wanted to add legal pot shops and strip clubs to the list of places where EBT cards cannot be used to withdraw cash. The list currently includes casinos, gun stores and liquor stores.

Andrew Pontbriand is an Activist, Researcher, Contributor at Activist Post, and Writer/Editor of  The Resistance JournalsLike his Facebook Page here, and follow him on Twitter - @ResistJourn25

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