New Hampshire Welfare Recipients Can No Longer Buy Weed

| by Maura Turcotte

Welfare recipients in New Hampshire will soon be unable to use the money they receive towards marijuana, cigars or piercings, reports Burr Ridge Patch.

Concerned that welfare money was being spent on these items, Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed a law that prohibits recipients from using their “electronic benefit transfer” cards at marijuana dispensaries, cigar and smoke shops, and tattoo and body piercing shops.

In a news release, the New Hampshire governor explained, “We must always work to protect taxpayer dollars against public assistance fraud or abuse while also ensuring that those who need and qualify for financial support can purchase basic essential items,” states Burr Ridge Patch.

While the law goes into effect in two months, welfare recipients already had restrictions on their cards. Previous bans on EBT cards from both state and federal law include use at liquor stores, gambling establishments and “adult entertainment venues,” according to Burr Ridge Patch.

With approximately 12,000 households in the state receiving welfare benefits, Hassan believes this new law has an “educational component for cash assistance recipients and retail establishments,” Burr Ridge Patch writes.

This is not the first time people have expressed concern on where taxpayer money goes. Earlier this year, in Colorado, Republicans were worried that welfare money was being spent too much on weed, reports The Washington Times.

Fox 31 reports that in 2014, public tax money paid for around 17 pounds of pot. As the station admits, that amount is a tiny percentage compared to what the rest of the state consumes.

Nonetheless, Republican state legislators introduced a bill that would ban EBT cards from being used at dispensaries.

“I don’t know if you’ve been following who the new attorney general may be going to be on the federal level, but she is not in favor of marijuana,” Sen. Vicki Marble explained, reports The Washington Times. “Are we going to now allow ourselves to be open to federal raids? Closings? Our state is not ready to deal with that.”

Surprisingly, the marijuana sellers in Colorado are on board with the bill as well.

“As the cannabis industry in the state, we pride ourselves as being good stewards of our economy and also of our community,” Tyler Hansen, the president of the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, told The Washington Post.