State lawmakers in Colorado are working on a bill which would prevent those on welfare from using their electronic benefit cards (EBTs) at cannabis dispensaries and strip clubs.
The bill, introduced by Colorado’s Republican Senator, Vicki Marble, was drafted by the state senator in light of the state’s pot laws. Marble served on the state’s task force which was created as a result of voters approving Amendment 64 in 2012, an amendment that legalized marijuana. The measure called for weed to be sold and regulated like alcohol, and as EBT cards are not allowed to be used in liquor stores, she said her bill was designed to “align Colorado’s pot laws with alcohol, just as we intended,” the Cannabist reported.
Senate Bill 37, which failed last year amid concerns that ATMs located in dispensaries might be the closest source of cash for those without a bank, is facing its first hearing next week in the state senate. The new bill would add marijuana businesses and strip clubs to the list of businesses in Colorado where EBTs cannot be used to withdraw cash, the Associated Press reported via ABC News. The AP‘s report indicated that state lawmakers were poised to pass the law this year which would clarify that public benefit cards can’t be used at pot club ATMs.
Marble was quoted by the AP as having said that the state stands to lose a great deal if they “don’t show we are trying” to prevent tax money from being used by those on welfare to buy pot. She indicated that a raid would be “absolutely devastating” to the state due to the amount of time and effort those in Colorado’s marijuana industry have put in.
“We stand to lose a lot if we don’t show we are trying (…) The growers here put in a lot of time and effort. A raid would be absolutely devastating to our state.”
In light of Washington State’s 2012 law which block businesses banning those under 18 — such as strip clubs, bars and now licensed marijuana dispensaries — from allowing people to use an EBT card to withdraw money, Colorado state Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver) said that it’s time for his state to follow suit. He was quoted by the AP as having said that he doesn’t “think a strip club or liquor store wants to be out of compliance, and neither does a dispensary.”
In more marijuana related news, Inquisitr reported recently that authorities in Texas discovered 1,495 pounds of marijuana hidden inside of the sewage tank on the back of a man’s porta-potty truck, and in yet another bust, authorities in Ohio seized what they estimated to be $1.2 million worth of pot. Both pot busts came as a result of traffic stops involving police K-9 units.
What do you think of Colorado lawmakers’ proposed bill which would ban the use of EBT cards at the state’s pot clubs?
[Image via Wikipedia]