Fox’s Tucker Carlson teamed up with a Colorado Republican representative to make you think they’ve got proof that poor people are using welfare funds to buy pot - with a wink, wink from the Democratic governor who just happens to be running for re-election. The truth is far less salacious or even damning. Yet Carlson must have been too busy eating up every talking point the GOP handed him to do any research.
After a “GOING TO POT” graphic flashed across the screen, Carlson announced:
Well it’s remarkable but it is true. The federal government is now admitting that welfare recipients can buy marijuana with their benefit money in states where marijuana shops are legal.
Huffington Post did some of the fact checking Carlson didn’t. They reported the following about a Republican bill that would restrict use of EBT cards in pot shops:
Cash benefits from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program are typically distributed on debit cards. The government can restrict ATM access, but not where people spend the cash. While government-issued debit cards may have been used at pot shop ATMs, then, the available data don’t show whether the cash actually went to pot. The much bigger Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, by contrast, does not allow cash withdrawals or spending on things like booze and cigarettes.
(The Republican) bill wouldn’t prevent somebody from withdrawing cash outside a weed store and then spending it on marijuana. In 2012, Congress approved a similar bill banning welfare ATM withdrawals at strip clubs, casinos, and liquor stores, but they failed to anticipate pot shops.
In other words Carlson has no way of knowing that funds withdrawn on ATMs at pot shops are actually spent on pot. Similarly, preventing EBT use in pot shop ATMs is a small barrier to using welfare funds to buy pot anyway.
Meanwhile, the guest, Colorado Republican representative Libby Szabo, seemed to conflate EBT cards with food stamps when she complained that EBT cards “are to be used for food that provide nutritional value.”
Rather than correct Szabo, Carlson further validated her credibility by suggesting that allowing the use of EBT cards in pot shop ATMs represents a “shocking abuse” of taxpayer funds.
But it looks like Carlson had more than just smearing welfare recipients on his agenda. He just happened to ask if Colorado’s Democratic governor has spoken out on the matter.
As if on cue, Szabo suggested the governor is an enabler of this diabolical situation. According to her, the governor “took a bunch of money from the recreational marijuana people to run his campaign this year.”
Carlson didn’t ask for a single detail.
Watch the distortion below.
What state? Which stores?
Because I know whenever you try to buy something other than food, the card won’t work. Hell, I wish the card allowed us to buy toilet paper or toothpaste.
So where in the hell heck are these magic cards?