Fox News seized on Colorado’s legalization of recreational use and sale of marijuana to stoke fears — while offering no evidence — that low-income Americans could use food stamps to buy marijuana. In fact, food stamp recipients are barred from purchasing non-food items, cannot withdraw food stamps as cash, and fraud in the program is extremely rare.
After Colorado a law allowing the legal sale of marijuana went into effect in 2014, an urban myth spread that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, commonly known as food stamps) recipients could use electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards to withdraw SNAP benefits as cash at ATMs located in marijuana dispensaries in order to buy marijuana. Colorado senate Republicans introduced a bill to ban the use of EBT cards at those ATMs, but the bill failed after Democratic lawmakers raised concerns about restricting recipients’ access to benefits in areas with few ATMs.
Despite lack of evidence and the failure of the bill, Fox News continued perpetuating the myth that SNAP recipients can use benefits to buy marijuana. The January 21 edition of Fox & Friends included on-screen text that read, “Food stamps for pot!” Another line of text claimed that the bill would “ban food stamps at pot shops.”
– Read the entire article at AlterNet.