Arizona Rep. Kate Brophy McGee wants to prevent welfare recipients that are also medical marijuana patients from using their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards to purchase their medicine. The measure, HB 2261 is an attempt to stop what McGee believes is a loophole in the program.
Currently, EBT cardholders can use their funds for food and prescription drugs, but not at casinos, liquor stores or strip clubs. McGee wants to add medical marijuana dispensaries to that list, even though medical marijuana is a type of medicine, just like prescription drugs, reports the Yuma Sun.
McGee is facing stiff opposition from other lawmakers throughout the state, especially Rep. Randall Friese, who is also a physician. He stated: “I have a little trouble just saying [to patients] you can get your prescription medications but not your medical marijuana.”
McGee believes welfare recipients should only use their benefits to pay for rent, utilities and other necessities, and “if they really felt they needed medical marijuana they could free up other resources.”
Arizonans receiving state benefits receive a discounted fee during the application process for a medical marijuana card, reducing the normally $150 state fee down to $75.