Poor Missourians who obtain authorized medical cannabis treatments no longer have to worry about losing their welfare benefits if they test positive for THC. Previously, Missourians who obtained welfare benefits through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program were at risk of losing their benefits if they failed a drug screening. Under the revised policy, announced Wednesday, the Missouri Department of Social Services says it will only drug test some welfare recipients. However, those who fail or opt out of the screening will now be required to complete a substance abuse treatment program, even if they were a lawful medical cannabis user.
Missouri Moves to Correct Unequal Access to Medical Cannabis Treatments
While many states with legal marijuana programs have implemented them in defiance of federal threats of slashed funding, Missouri adopted an inverse approach. In addition to restricting access to medical cannabis out of concern for losing access to millions of dollars in federal subsidies, officials have had to work within the confines of state law regarding welfare programs.
Missouri’s Republican-lead government has not been kind to poor and low-income people. In 2018, lawmakers pushed a number of bills to further tighten access to the state’s welfare programs after