Representative Libby Szabo (R-CO) sat down with the stupidest newsman in America, Tucker Carlson, to join in the collective freak out over the “revelation” that EBT cards and welfare can supposedly be used to purchase marijuana in states in which shops are legal. And while this isn’t the first time conservatives have had this sort of a freak out, this situation is a little different.
Citing from HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Carlson noted that “HHS has no authority to prescribe policies and practices for the states to implement in order to prohibit the use of TANF benefit cards at marijuana stores.”
According to FOX Insider, in addition to calling it an “insult to the concept of welfare,” Szabo, “explained that the state’s hands are tied because they cannot regulate a federal program.”
By “explained,” FOX Insider apparently means that Carlson said the states’ hands were tied, Szabo agreed and neither made it clear why since they veered off on a track of bashing Democrats and trying to get everyone worked up over “wasting tax dollars.” (As an aside, if it were between paying for other people’s weed or watching my tax dollars get shoved in secret Swiss bank accounts by greedy corporations, I’d take paying for other people’s weed any day — at least that money stays in the American economy.)
As Carlson mentioned in the video, Burwell’s statement was a response to Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who expressed concern regarding the use of EBT/TANF money in marijuana stores.
In her response to Sessions, Burwell said that laws limiting the use of TANF in certain places don’t extend to establishments that sell marijuana. I wonder if that could possibly be because marijuana is legal in only two states.
It doesn’t change the fact that people in places where you can get marijuana from stores can use EBT cash to do so, because of a loophole in the law. That much is true. If they do is another matter. However, Szabo/Carlson’s note that the state can’t do anything about it, since they can’t regulate a federal program? That’s not:
The law limiting TANF benefit locations was updated in 2011, a year before Colorado’s decision to legalize the sale of marijuana. Burwell said some states are currently in the process of closing the loophole to prevent TANF from being used to purchase marijuana.
“In fact,” Burwell said, “States have the flexibility to prevent TANF assistance from being used in any type of establishment they deem inappropriate.”
What’s more, according to CBS, Burwell pointed out that Colorado lawmakers have already begun moving to fix the loophole. Colorado introduced a similar bill in the past which would’ve restricted the ability of individuals to withdraw money from their EBT cards at ATMs located near or in marijuana dispensaries that was killed when the Democrats pointed out that the government was restricting people’s abilities to access ATMs, especially in areas where ATMs are scarce.
It might just be me, but it seems like this should be yet another reason to legalize marijuana on the national level. That way, the federal government wouldn’t be put in situations in which there are these sorts of loopholes. After all, there’s no loophole for alcohol and other legal forms of entertainment.
What are the odds your right-wing friends who are freaking out over poor people potentially buying weed with “mah tax dollars!” will realize that?
You can watch the idiotic discussion below:
h/t: FOX Insider