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Federal Food Stamp Ban Results In Mother Resorting To Prostitution

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federal food stamp ban prostitution felony drugsBy Dan Viets, J.D., Show-Me Cannabis Regulation Board Chair

A federal law which mandates a lifetime denial of eligibility for food stamps has caused at least one young mother to resort to prostitution to feed her family.

Dr. Emily Wang, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine, recently wrote in an article published by Alternet about a young woman who came into her office and told a tragic story of desperation which resulted from the federal food stamp ban.

She stated that, because of a drug felony conviction, and her resulting ineligibility for food stamps, she believed she had no alternative other than resorting to prostitution to provide her children with food.

This young woman had been released from prison after a conviction for marijuana possession.  She had regained custody of her children and enrolled in college.  However, like everyone with a criminal conviction record, she had great difficulty finding a job.

Dr. Wang wrote, “Carla is one of thousands of former convicted drug offenders who suffer because of a passage in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act.  The specific passage of the Act was implemented to keep drug users from selling their food stamps for drug money.  This concern is irrelevant today because food stamp funds are distributed electronically via a ‘debit’ card that must be used during the checkout at grocery stores”.

The Missouri General Assembly, which convened its 2013 session this week, will be considering legislation to allow Missouri to “opt out” of the federal food stamp ban.  Doing so will not only allow thousands of Missourians to restore their eligibility for food stamp assistance, but will also result in many additional millions of federal tax dollars returning to our state and helping to build our economy and create new jobs.

The basis for many, if not most, drug felony convictions is a marijuana offense.  Under current Missouri law, one can be convicted of a felony offense for possessing any amount of marijuana above 1.25 ounces, for possessing any amount of marijuana with the intent to share it with other persons, sprouting even a single cannabis seed, or merely sharing a joint.

We should all contact our State Senator and State Representative right away and urge each of them to support the legislation to allow Missouri to “opt out” from the federal lifetime drug felony food stamp ban.

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  • mark

    so all of us tax paying ppl now have 2 pay 4 more lazy motherfuckers again ive been a loyal n avid promoter of canibus but we the ppl have 2 draw a line somewhere. i smoke 2 this day

    • I think you should consider that there is a bottom in any civilized nation that can not make a go of it. The response is bread and circuses. Not enough bread and circuses (B&C) and the bottom takes down civilization. Too much B&C and the government (through taxes) takes down civilization.

      Keep agitating. But also be aware of the dangers of either extreme.

    • You might also consider the money this woman is getting as reparations for an injustice.

    • roger

      Really, Are you really that dogmatic about giving food stamps to MJ users? A non violent crime that you have to live with the rest of your life. People who smoke MJ don’t typically commit violent crimes. Laws like this strip our lower class of the help they may need. I Don’t believe welfare is a good gov program anyway, but to take away the right to a good education and support until they can stand alone is the wrong approach to getting needy people off the system. Blame the welfare program for the miss use of funds, not the people who truly need assistance. MJ should not be a criminal offense! Believe me the current system of dumping someone in a cell with real criminals is wrong. I have spent time in jail over MJ. the only thing I came out with is an intense anger against the current system of the courts, attorney’s, and treatment centers. It is my life style. By the way I have never been on food stamps and hopefully will never be. I do have a full time job and I pay my own bills. Just like most of the MJ smokers I know.

    • Johnny oneye

      A Lazy hooker?

      cannabis must be dangerous.

  • Johnny oneye

    The article is great! Im curiuos when they “changed the law”
    decriminalization less than 1,25 oz.
    The 1996 act , probably put thousands of people before that for 1 stem.
    All the “convictions” still stand so for these folks are technically forced into crime or working under the table.
    Bath Salts made a big splash because of these “acts” witch cause more harm than good.
    If the end justifies the means ,Something is broken!
    Both of my nephews have been arrested/jailed for less than 3 joints in Georgia- 0 tolerance.
    End the War on Cannabis and reform all “drug laws”

  • chaos23

    Honestly she didn’t have to be a prostitute. Obviously marijuana should be legal, but that woman could have done something other than sell herself to strange men. Wait tables or work at Walmart. There are an infinite number of options better than prostitution. I suspect there was more going on that this article doesn’t tell us. Get real.

  • cannabis lover

    To the person who suggested working at Walmart for the hooker with a felony, Walmart doesn’t hire felons. Most places won’t hire felons so before you judge someone and offer advice, do some research.