In America, we take care of our own. Look out for the least among us. We offer a hand up. It’s always been this way and depending on who wins the next presidential election, it will always be this way, and it’s why the federal food stamp program exists. However, in Oregon, qualifying for the program means you can take into account more than your income, dependents and expenses. You can deduct your pot too.
Strictly speaking, a social services practice allows for certain individuals to take into account their medical marijuana when applying for food stamps. Those who qualify for permanent disability, or are already receiving social security benefits, are permitted to include the cost of obtaining a state-issued license, growing the plants, or purchasing marijuana when applying for food stamps. It’s not a practice that’s widespread or running rampant, but it’s on the books just the same, and seems to clash violently with the law of the land: the feds.
While 17 states have given the thumbs-up to toking up for medical reasons, indulging in marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Coincidentally, funding for the food stamp program flows from federal coffers. A dilemma.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Oregon since voters approved the measure in 1998. As long as a user is in possession of a registry identification card, pursuant to ORS475.309, they can also possess the allotted medical marijuana.
The consequences of directly violating federal law, and using federal money to do so, haven’t reared their heads. However, when they do, Oregon’s pot practice is likely to go up in smoke.
By Caitlyn May