Colorado Introduces State Drugging of the Poor without Even Trying

When Colorado legalized marijuana, the idea was to give people freedom and let them make their own choices. But sometimes rhetoric and reality are two different things.

The problem is that we are not a free country; we are a welfare state. We live in a society where people are not free, but rather obligated to pay for other people’s lives. In that context, it is pretty obvious that legalizing marijuana could easily lead to the same outcome.

Thus, the National Review reports,

For the past six months, welfare beneficiaries in Colorado have repeatedly withdrawn their cash benefits at marijuana retailers and dispensaries, according to a new analysis by National Review Online. Such apparent abuses have caught the eye of Colorado’s executive and legislative powers alike, and the state has launched an effort to curb them.

At least 259 times in the first six months of legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado, beneficiaries used their electronic-benefit transfer (EBT) cards to access public assistance at weed retailers and dispensaries, withdrawing a total of $23,608.53 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash, NRO’s examination found.

In 2012, the latest fiscal year available, Colorado used $124 million in TANF money from the federal government, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Withdrawals at marijuana establishments represented only a tiny fraction of the more than 500,000 total EBT transactions that have occurred since recreational weed became legal in Colorado on January 1. And it’s impossible to determine how much of that welfare money actually was used to buy pot, given that cash benefits are fungible and some of these establishments also sell groceries.

So without even trying Colorado has, to some degree, moved closer to the kind of dystopia described in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. People are now being kept high and “happy” by the state.

Awhile back, I wrote about a California city’s program to give free pot to the poor,

Berkeley, California, has, I think, revealed where the current wave of pot legalization is headed. I have to say, I’m impressed with the diabolical snare they have invented in order to maintain a caste system and ensure that the poor and homeless remain content with their lot in life.

I admit I thought I might be exaggerating by saying that pot legalization was headed toward a state system of drugging the poor to keep them happy. But now I know that, even as I wrote those words, it was already happening through state and Federal funds in Colorado.

I’m pretty confident the legislature never meant for this to happen. They and state agencies are trying now to address the issue of people using their EBT cards to buy marijuana. But not everyone is on board.

Last session, some Colorado legislators attempted to pass a bill banning TANF withdrawals at marijuana establishments, but Democrats blocked it. The state’s Republicans did succeed, however, in passing a budget amendment that would preclude such use. Because of a legislative technicality, however, the amendment “doesn’t have the power and teeth behind it that a statute does,” says Colorado Springs representative Dan Nordberg, one of the key proponents of the ban. Republican lawmakers plan to re-introduce stronger legislation next session.

Do you think that making sure welfare recipients can use their government-granted funds to buy marijuana is a sign of compassion and respect for the poor?

Of course not.

We really are headed toward a state-provided caste system maintained by government-funded recreational drugs.