Conservative Frontline- As of January 1st, 2014, Colorado became the first state in the nation to allow adults aged 21 or older to purchase and use marijuana for recreational use. The decision has led to excessively large lines at pot shops across the state and store owners reportedly surpassed $1 million in sales statewide on just the first day according to Denver’s 9News.In all, 136 licenses have been approved by the state of Colorado for retail operations for the purposes of selling marijuana. A majority of those licenses were issued to businesses in Denver with just eighteen city stores completing the process in time for opening day. One of those shops, Rite Greens, located on E. Colfax Ave in Denver, has taken the steps needed to accept food stamps (now called EBT cards) for the purposes of purchasing marijuana effectively leading to taxpayer funded marijuana for welfare recipients.
“If you are a tax payer in Colorado, you get to pay for welfare recipients, a majority of whom are Democrats of course, to smoke pot now,” stated Denver resident Paul Horner. “Where will this all end? First it was Obamaphones, then Obamacare, now Obamaweed? Will we be paying for tattoos, manicures, body piercings, gay marriages and porn next?”
Store owner JC Franco defended his decision to accept EBT cards in an interview with National Report: “Everyone should have access to marijuana. If a user is not able to afford their buds on a limited budget then having taxpayers help cover the shortage is only fair. This isn’t a right only for the wealthy.”
Electronic Benefit Transfer cards — part of the Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — are typically of two general categories: food and cash benefits. Franco was able to take advantage of a loophole in the SNAP program as his shop sells a wide array of “edible” marijuana ranging from cookies and brownies to barbeque sauce and homemade butter.
“USDA has a zero tolerance policy on fraud, and we continue to strengthen our anti-fraud tactics to identify and exclude bad actors. More than any other factor, we know that the change in the trafficking rate is being driven by the growth in the number of smaller retailers where trafficking occurs at ten times the rate of larger grocery stores and supermarkets,” Agriculture Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon said in a news release last month. “And while the vast majority of retailers and participants are honest, exploring enhanced retailer requirements reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that everyone plays by the rules.”
The marijuana measure has been popular among younger generations but represents the institution of a major new public policy in America that threatens to turn the nation into a dangerous land of debauchery. If Colorado is able to succeed without causing a national backlash, the tourism, tax and other considerations are likely to compel other states to follow suit. If they do not succeed, whether through marijuana injuries/deaths or an increase in crimes, it could set back the pro-marijuana movement that has gained momentum in recent years.
The state expecting some $200 million dollars in economic boost.