Sen. Pat Roberts says medical marijuana is not a medical expense

  • Sen. Pat Roberts doesn’t think marijuana is a medical expense.

In five of the 16 states that have legalized medical marijuana, people with prescriptions can deduct the cost as a medical expense when they apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. SNAP is a federal program administered by the USDA charged with giving the nation’s low-income citizens help with paying for food. The USDA says SNAP puts “healthy food on the table for more than 46 million people each month.”

In order to qualify for SNAP benefits, applicants must be pretty poor. For a family of three, the net monthly income must be $1,545 or less. But the calculations for how much gets loaded on to recipients’ EBT cards is a little trickier. People in the program are allowed to deduct child support, education costs and shelter costs, and disabled and elderly recipients are allowed to deduct health-care costs.

Roberts, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, wants those five states to stop allowing the pot deductions. He has introduced a bill that would outlaw the practice in all states.

Categories: News