The Colorado legislature must separate welfare and drugs or welfare will be nothing but a prison for the poor.
Giving someone heroine in order to create dependence is considered a disgusting crime. Marijuana is not on the same order of magnitude, but encouraging marijuana use could lead to a similar outcome.
Scared of federal intervention, lawmakers in Colorado are working on a bill to prevent welfare users from accessing cash at ATM machines in marijuana shops.
The policy of restricting access to certain ATMs already holds for liquor stores, casinos and guns ships, The Associated Press reports. Republican state Sen. Vicki Marble is worried that the federal government might aggressively interfere in Colorado if there’s any hint that welfare users are spending their benefits on drugs.
The nascent pot industry has been plagued with rumors that low-income users with electronic benefits cards (EBTs) jumped on the opportunity to load up on marijuana. National Review Online found that over a six-month period ending in January 2014, welfare recipients withdrew $23,608.53 dollars at marijuana dispensaries. How much of that total was spent at marijuana shops is unknown.
Not a big fan of Federal intervention, but in this case they are doing the right thing. I would hope that the Colorado lawmakers would be concerned about subsidizing a drug habit even without the Federal motivation.
Basically, legal drugs combined with a welfare check leads to a much worse life and much worse prospects for the person who gets the free money to spend on recreational pharmaceuticals. It crosses the line from a free society where people make their own choices to the government enticing people to become stoners. It brings the welfare state one step closer to building a permanent caste system.
Even in states where marijuana is illegal, drug use can be a major problem.
Which brings us to second thoughts about the welfare state and other vices. Even though I think allowing people to use welfare funds to get stoned is definitely a step worse than our current welfare system, is it really so different in principle? People spending all day watching porn on the internet because they don’t need a job thanks to welfare seems like another dangerous subsidy. And what about alcohol? Or daytime soaps?
In my opinion, if the Feds are so concerned about people buying marijuana with their welfare funds, then they should also show concern about other legal vices. The bottom line is that, unless welfare benefits are watched very closely, we are helping people become freeloaders rather than targeting the truly needy.
Marijuana is an extreme case, but the concern of the Federal government for that issue demonstrates that they are guilty of other sins by giving away free money.