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Impact of new marijuana law on welfare recipients unclear

(AP) – Missouri voters have approved medical marijuana, but it remains unclear whether thousands of welfare recipients will lose benefits if they opt for it.

The Missouri Department of Social Services told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the question remains under review, and offered no timeline for a decision.

Voters this month overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2, legalizing marijuana and marijuana-infused products to help patients who suffer from several serious illnesses.

A 2011 law resulted in a program to screen Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program applicants for drug use. The program provides cash benefits to about 25,000 recipients monthly.

Recipients are asked about drug use and some take drug tests. Those who fail to show up for the test or do not complete it are ineligible for benefits for three years.

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