Missouri bans food stamps for drug felons

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by Steve Savard / News 4 and Ruella Rouf / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 7 at 5:25 AM

(KMOV) – Felons convicted of drug crimes are not eligible for food stamps in Missouri, but state lawmakers are trying to pass a bill that would lift that ban.

Under current Missouri law, only drug felons are prohibited from food stamp eligibility. Felons convicted of other crimes are eligible. The ban for drug felons has been in place since 1996, and Missouri is only one of nine states that still has the ban on the books.

The ban is "creating a stigma and making treatment of chemical dependence more difficult," according to CJ Strohm of Bridgeway Behavior Health. He believes that treating drug addiction as an illness is key to solving the problem, and taking away a basic assistance to live is counterproductive.

The Missouri Senate has already passed the bill to lift the ban. While there seems to be enough support to pass it in the house, the small amount of time left in the legislative session may be a hindrance to passing the bill.

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