[quote="J_Peterson, post:6, topic:330321"]
Yeah, I've witnessed that first hand. I said no to the guy but my fiance said that college students will usually take them up on their offer (this was near Boston University). I just asssumed, and hope, that these are exceptions. Seems like humiliating, sad work. I'm surprised they don't get kicked out of the store since I'm assuming it's illegal. Seems like it would be easier to try and prevent this than using drug testing (i.e. require an ID of some sort to use the card).
Being poor in childhood and then low income for a good portion of my adult life I have seen a lot of irresponsibility and fraud among other low income people. It's pretty common for food benefits to be traded for cash to cover everything from car repairs to cigarettes to utility bills to drugs to getting hair and nails done. Usually people sell their food stamp benefits to friends, family, and neighbors.
The way people do it here is offer to trade $2.00 in food stamps for $1.00 in cash. Then the seller goes to the grocery store with their benefit card and the buyer shops. The seller uses the benefit card to pay for the food as if it was their own and when the transaction is complete the buyer pays the food stamp seller in cash.
The problem is that requiring ID wouldn't change the system here since the food stamp card holder is there to buy the food. They can show their ID to the cashier. I can't think of a way to prevent this kind of fraud that people couldn't easily get around.
You don't even want to know how many people get Medicaid prescriptions (doctor visit for free and prescription filled for free) for anti-depressants and pain killers and then sell those to buy pot or harder drugs.
I support the idea of drug testing for welfare benefits. I also think that doctors who prescribe antidepressants and pain killers for Medicaid patients should be required to regularly check blood work for the appropriate levels to be present before writing a new prescription.
Honestly, though, my biggest pet peeve is that you can use food stamp benefits to buy chips, soda, and other unhealthy snacks and drinks. Stopping fraud is very difficult, but changing what can be purchased is easier. Poor people tend to have poor nutrition which leads to expensive health problems. If those people could only use their food stamp cards to buy healthier food they would be healthier and need less medical care.