News & Politics

Colorado Lawmaker Calls for Food-Stamp Ban at Pot Stores

State Senator says she was not fooled by faux-news website's claim that benefit cards were used at dispensaries.

A Colorado lawmaker has introduced legislation to stop the state's marijuana dispensaries from accepting food-stamp benefit cards, although there's no evidence that any dispensary has accepted such payments. Benefit cards allow welfare recipients to buy only certain food items or to withdraw cash at automatic teller machines. And no, hash brownies aren't on the list of the acceptable baked goods.

Republican Sen. Vicki Marble says she began working on her legislation in August, despite claims on the blogsphere that she was inspired by a faux-news report from early January. To prove she wasn't the victim of a hoax, Marble produced an e-mail dated September 4 from a legislative attorney, who was working with her on the bill.

The satirical article, entitled “Colorado Pot Shop Accepting Food Stamps – Taxpayer Funded Marijuana for Welfare Recipients,” was published by The National Report, a faux news site, on January 1. Other recent headlines on the site include: "Chris Christie Implicated in Grocery Store Lane-Blocking Scandal" and “Colorado Pot Shop Attempts To Disarm Citizens With ‘Weed for Guns’ Buyback Program.” 

Food stamp benefit cards cannot be used in liquor stores, says Marble, so all her bill does is to treat pot dispensaries and liquor stores equally. Marble's bill would also prohibit the use of benefit cards at ATM machines at strip clubs and other adult-entertainment establishments. The state already prohibits withdrawing public assistance funds at casinos and gun shops.







Cliff Weathers is a former senior editor at AlterNet and served as a deputy editor at Consumer Reports. Twitter @cliffweathers.


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