Tags: Marijuana Legalization | Burwell | marijuana | welfare | purchase | EBT

HHS Chief: Welfare Money Can be Used to Buy Pot

Image: HHS Chief: Welfare Money Can be Used to Buy Pot
HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. (Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 06:53 PM

Welfare recipients are able to use federal benefits to buy marijuana, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

With marijuana now legal to purchase in Colorado and Washington, a loophole allows users to purchase weed using money they are given through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), reports the Washington Examiner.

The law was updated in 2012, before the decision to legalize recreational marijuana use in both states. It prohibits welfare recipients from using their benefit cards at liquor stores, casinos, and strip clubs, but there is no mention of marijuana shops.

In a letter to Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, Mathews Burwell wrote, "… nothing in the the TANF statute or regulations precludes states from taking measures to prevent recipients from using their benefit cards at marijuana shops. In fact, states have the flexibility to prevent TANF assistance from being used in any type of establishment they deem inappropriate. We understand that legislators in Colorado have already explored prohibiting EBT withdrawals at retail marijuana shops and medical-marijuana dispensaries."

Mathews Burwell goes on to say that legislation that would ban the use of welfare money to purchase marijuana has already been introduced at the federal level by several Congressmen.

"Their bill would prohibit TANF EBT cards from being used for purchases at marijuana stores or used to withdraw TANF cash assistance at ATMs in these locations," she writes.

With 23 states allowing the use of marijuana for medical reasons, along with Colorado's and Washington's laws that make it legal to buy and smoke it for recreation, companies are growing increasingly concerned their workers are smoking the drug and, potentially, could fail drug tests.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
US
Welfare recipients are able to use federal benefits to buy marijuana, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. With marijuana now legal to purchase in Colorado and Washington, a loophole allows users to purchase weed using money they are...
Burwell, marijuana, welfare, purchase, EBT
286
2014-53-09
Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 06:53 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved