Before we delve into the matter, we must first understand the two important terms used in that question i.e. food stamps and felons.
Food stamps were introduced to the public to provide people in the lowest end of the financial spectrum with a better chance to provide sustenance to their families. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is an organization that provides food stamps for people belonging to low or no income households.
On the other hand, felonies are serious crimes such as arson, armed robbery, murder, and kidnapping. Given the seriousness of their nature, felonies remain on a convict’s record for an indefinite period until they are expunged.
President Bill Clinton’s unshakeable stance on drug-related charges during the War on Drugs era was admirable. His administration saw the passing of a law that dictated that felons who had been caught on drug-related charges will be stripped of their benefits. These advantages included food stamps.
Nowadays, different states have tackled the issue of providing food stamps to felons convicted of drug-related charges differently. While some states are still adhering to President Clinton’s tough stance on the matter, others are easing up their restrictions on felons, while a few states have even lifted this ban altogether. Thus, we will be dividing the 50 states into three categories.
1. States with a Full Ban on Benefits
There are six states that still follow the law that states that food stamps shall not be permitted to felons arrested or convicted on drug-related charges. These six states include Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
2. States with a Partial Ban on Benefits
26 out of the 50 states of the United States of America are sticking to this strict law partially. This means while they do enforce regulations to prevent drug felons from receiving food stamps, they are gradually reducing these regulations. They are making an effort to reward ex-felons convicted on drug-related charges for their good behavior such as complying with parole conditions, never committing a second offense, and actively taking part and showing promising results in rehabilitation centers.
These states include Indiana, Los Angeles, Arizona, American Samoa, Arkansas, Michigan, Texas, Hawaii, Idaho, Connecticut, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee.
3. States with No Ban on Benefits
On the other hand, 18 states in the United States of America have completely disregarded this law. These states should be commended for their decision of giving humanitarian needs the importance that they deserve.
These 18 states include Washington, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, California, Delaware, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Alabama.
In a nutshell, it is clear that except for the six states mentioned above, food stamps are provided to every single person of little or no financial means, regardless of the fact that they have committed drug-related felonies.