Marijuana Stupid Party Super Stupid

House GOP Duped Into No Food Stamps for Weed Bill


What began as a fake news report on a satirical website and found it’s way into the halls of the Colorado state capital has now landed in the House of Representatives.

Representative Gosar has sponsored the No Welfare for Weed Act, which is a solution in search of a problem.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) proposed the No Welfare for Weed Act, H.R. 4142, which would prohibit pot from being bought by people using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) programs. TANF is the federal welfare program, and SNAP is commonly referred to as the federal food stamp program.

Gosar said his bill is a reaction to a report that people are using their welfare benefits to buy marijuana.

Yes, a fake report.

The satirical National Report posted a phony story about this titled “Colorado Pot Shop Accepting Food Stamps – Taxpayer Funded Marijuana for Welfare Recipients” and local Republicans believed it to be real.

The Douglas County Republican Committee in Colorado then enlisted State Senator Vicki Marble (R) to sponsor a bill to prevent people from using their SNAP benefits to buy weed.

The obvious problem is that you cannot use SNAP benefits to buy weed. You also cannot withdraw SNAP benefits as cash and then use it to buy weed. You simply cannot.

Even though the fantastical National Report story was immediately debunked and identified as a fake, Fox News picked up the story and ran with it in late January,

It didn’t stop there. Fox News flogged the fake story once again last week when host Eric Bolling used Colorado as an example of people using the SNAP program to buy “liquor, lap dances, and pot.”

Did Eric Bolling’s unhinged rant on Fox News’ The Five spur Representative Paul Gosar into action?

None of this is real and Paul Gosar fell for it.

  • Sabyen91

    I would introduce a bill that said any legislator who doesn’t understand the difference between SNAP and TANF wouldn’t be able to vote on anything to do with either.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Why don’t we just have the government buy the food and deliver it to the poor via some kind of Meals on Wheels program? Then the republicans can micromanage their diet to their heart’s content.

  • ninjaf

    I think this underscores our need for publicly funded elections. Because it costs so much to run an election nowadays, Teh Crazy has to drip out continually in order to keep those fundraising dollars pouring in. Maybe…and I have nothing to base this on…if they didn’t have to fund raise every goddamned day, they could let Teh Crazy have a little rest and do some of the country’s real business. But with the 24-hour news cycle and 24/7 electioneering going on, they currently can’t resist the urge to click-bait the voters with red meat like this every day. Even if it has been proven to be untrue.

  • Henry_Moody

    Can someone help me out on this, please?

    So I found myself in a Twitter spat with none other than Eric Bolling himself the other day after the rant mentioned in the column. I really liked Joan Walsh’s take-down, and basically pointed out how she had knocked out Darth Cheney and Bolling with one punch. WELL…I got hit with some stories about TANF benefits, and how they are…sometimes, I guess…in some states…distributed basically via a debit card. And when that debit card is used to pull cash, God only knows what the money is used for.

    Now, I get that this means that IF THIS IS TRUE…and if the part about EBT cards (loaded with TANF $) have actually been found to be used at ATMs in (or near) strip clubs and/or smoke shops is accurate…this proposed law is still meaningless. How do you control the $ once it’s pulled out of the ATM?

    What I’m getting at is…anyone have anything that dispels the rumors about this kind of behavior taking place that’s NOT “oh yeah, remember that fake news report?”

    • Churchlady320

      It happened some in CA when some EBT cards were cashed at casinos (our major growth industry.) That was ended. They cannot be used for cash now. However, NO ONE thought to ask if the cards were being used by the recipients or had they been stolen – there are records of course, but it was a MUCH better story if you did not bother to look. Demonize the greedy, irresponsible poor!!!

      So that’s where that comes from. But it has NEVER been possible that you could use them for non food. Great line in “Milagro Beanfield War” – you can’t buy bullets with food stamps. But now you can’t use them for cash either. Food only. No weed.

      I would fall out laughing that they took satire and made it a policy issue, but it could have consequences for those in need, so I’m smiling but not laughing just in case.

    • Robert Scalzi

      Total BS – they are cards that can only good for food PERIOD, they act as sort of a FOOD atm card, it does not act in any way like an ACTUAL atm card and is not in anyway connected to your bank account. – much like the old food stamps that were like paper money – you CANNOT buy tobacco , or Alcohol or any other NON food item such as Toilet paper or other dry goods – how gullible are you ?? well obviously not as gullible as some, but to even ask your question demonstrates you can be duped by the noise on the right .

      • Sabyen91

        That is the SNAP portion, the food stamps portion. Those funds can only be used for food and cannot be withdrawn. In many states the TANF (welfare) funds are stored on the same card. Those funds can be withdrawn, as they should be.

    • i_a_c

      The answer is that it’s none of their fucking business. Better start hounding gov’t employees, particularly Congress, and Social Security recipients if we’re so concerned about “waste” or whatever. Oops–I shouldn’t give them any ideas.

      This is a bullshit issue about demonizing poor people (and in the case of Bolling, black people) as slothful drug users when reality tells us that the poor do not use drugs at rates much different from people who are well-off.

    • stacib23

      In Illinois, yes, it’s true. Cash and food benefits are loaded onto the same LINK card although I can’t see what difference it could possibly make in an argument. That same person would still receive a cash benefit whether in paper check or via debit card. There are a ton of things you CAN NOT buy with food stamps that find their way into a shopping cart – diapers, soap, toilet paper.

      I live on the south side of Chicago. I’ve seen all kinds of shit happen that shouldn’t when people are using LINK and there are unscrupulous store owners involved. It’s really sad how easy it is to take advantage of poor people when you own a bullshit corner store and somebody has a kid to feed. At any rate, the majority of people in this country are using these programs as intended – to get them from point A to point B and help them feed their families. Whoever may be fucking up and however they may be doing it in no way casts a bad light on all of the other families that need and receive help. For anybody to base an argument against helping people on some minute percentage of bad actors is an asshole, and you’ll never win that argument anyway.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    When your entire world is an improv act, there is no difference between a report and a “report.”

  • muselet

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: This is what happens when one political party creates its own pocket universe.


  • Ipecac

    Someone, anyone, please post a fake article that “President Obama does NOT want Republicans to jump off a cliff”. All our problems would be solved.

    • muselet

      Proposed headlines:

      Obama: Breathing Is Good for You

      Obama Urges Americans: Don’t Stick Your Tongue in the Toaster

      President: Don’t Eat Entire Tubs of Lard in One Sitting

      Playing in Traffic Bad, President Says


  • Sean Richardson

    “which would prohibit pot from being bought by people using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) programs.”

    A question, for clarity’s sake — does the law ban people from using the money from those programs to buy pot, or does the law ban people who are enrolled in those programs from buying pot?

    • Christopher Foxx

      All descriptions I’ve seen (haven’t seen the actual text of the law) say it would prevent people from using money from those programs to buy pot. Not that it would prevent people in those programs from being able to buy pot at all.

      I’m finding it difficult to find the text of the bill. Even Gosar’s own page doesn’t link to it. While, of course, it does link to the bogus ‘investigation” by Fox he’s basing it on…

    • Churchlady320

      Good distinction because if it’s the latter, it could mean they were utterly ineligible for medical use via some OTHER program. Nice catch, thank you. We need to watch for this, another manifestation of the GOP’s Victorian Values run amok.

  • Grant Beaudette

    All from the “We don’t need new gun laws, we need to enforce the laws we already have” crowd.

  • Robert Scalzi

    what’s next ?? A you can’t buy food with food stamps bill ??

    • If the GOPTPers had their way, yes. All monies received must be tithed (to either a religious or corporate entity).

      • Churchlady320

        My organization has lots of religious charities that would HATE people turning over their SNAP benefits to us. Justice is sustainable support, and charity is for the temporary moment. If these bozos go that far (I know you’re being sarcastic, but look what they just did based on a joke), we will fight it. We support SNAP entirely and already resist the reductionism of poverty to a charitable-only issue.

    • stacib23

      It’s been tried with stuff like soft drinks and snack foods. I’ve also heard it proposed, although I’m not sure how serious the person was, that people on food stamps shouldn’t be allowed to buy “high end” meats like steaks or stuff like seafood. It blows me away that people who have lunch dates that costs more than some families are allotted in a month think they should decide what people eat. Fuckers.

      • Sabyen91

        In Wisconsin they tried to limit what a person could buy with SNAP to WIC approved items. The problem (well, ONE of the problems) with this is WIC is specifically designed for newborn children and their mothers. It just doesn’t translate into feeding a family.

  • drspittle

    I don’t think you can even buy soft drinks with SNAP card. Punking like this needs to be done every day, and then the news media need not that GOP was reacting to a fake article. This needs to become “a thing”, as the kids say.

    • Churchlady320

      You cannot buy prepared food, no, but you can buy bottles of soft drinks at a grocery. People do it because a liter of soda is a fraction of the cost of milk.

      I love your idea of a major daily send up of GOP gullibility and nastiness toward those in need. Like that a LOT.

      • drspittle

        Thanks, Churchlady! These people are evil beyond belief.