No Welfare for Weed

For Immediate Release
Date: March 4, 2014


Contact: Garrett Hawkins

No Welfare for Weed
'People shouldn’t be able to get high using hard-earned taxpayer money'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) issued the following statement after introducing the No Welfare for Weed Act (H.R.4142), bipartisan legislation that would prohibit the purchase of marijuana products using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits as well as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits:

"Regardless of your feelings on States’ Rights, 'medical' marijuana or recreational marijuana, people shouldn’t be able to get high using hard-earned taxpayer money. The sole purpose of this bill is to prohibit marijuana from being purchased with SNAP and TANF benefits. These programs are meant to provide subsidies for food and other basic living essentials for the neediest families. Unfortunately, there are always unscrupulous people looking for ways to game the system, which makes this commonsense update to federal law necessary. Taxpayers expect and deserve a lean, efficient government. Accordingly, I will do everything in my power to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse whenever possible, including preventing the use of federal welfare benefits to purchase weed."

A Fox31 Denver investigation revealed thousands of dollars have been pulled out of ATMs using welfare EBT cards to purchase marijuana. Current federal law prohibits TANF benefits from being used for purchases or withdrawals at ATMs in strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos. The No Welfare for Weed Act will add all marijuana dispensaries nationwide to this list of prohibited businesses. Current law also prohibits SNAP benefits from being used to purchase alcohol, tobacco and lottery tickets. The No Welfare for Weed Act will add marijuana products - including edible marijuana products - to this list of prohibited items for purchase.

Original co-sponsors of this legislation include Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), Trent Franks (AZ-08), Walter Jones (NC-03), John Duncan (TN-2) and Doug LaMalfa (CA-01). It is co-sponsored by Rep. Paul Cook (CA-08) and endorsed by Heritage Action, Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council.