Not even pot dealers think dispensing food-stamp cash at marijuana stores is a good idea – but Colorado Democrats do.
Denver Dems have shot down a Republican plan to ban food stamp EBT cards from being used at cash machines in the state’s newly legal pot stores, griping that some groups might not be able to access ATMs anywhere but the local cannabis outlet.
The cards’ use at ATMs in liquor stores, gun stores or casinos is already forbidden. But using food stamp cards for cash in a pot shop is OK?
“I just don’t understand,” state Sen. Bernie Herpin told the Associated Press. “People who are using their food stamp money to buy marijuana — why we should be making it easier for them?”
Herpin is the Republican who replaced former state Senate President John Morse, who was ousted in a recall election over the state’s gun-control laws.
The organization that represents dope dealers doesn’t want the cards being used at ATMs in their stores either.
Since food stamps are federal money administered by the states, letting food stamp cards be used for withdrawals from ATMs in pot shops might bring federal regulators around the marijuana stores, which are illegal under federal law.
“That’s not something that anybody in the cannabis industry would welcome, obviously,” Jason Warf, a board member of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council, told the AP.
The bill died on a 3-2 committee vote. Dems arguing against it said the only available ATM a food stamp recipient could get to might be in a pot shop.
Besides, one Democrat suggested, never in the history of food stamps has one penny been spent on something other than food.
“If you’ve ever known anyone who has been on cash assistance, like I have, it’s not something you abuse,” Sen. Jessie Ulibarri.
Colorado’s dope dealers have more sense than its Democrats.