A growing number of states are allowing people convicted of drug crimes to qualify for welfare and food stamps, according to The Wall Street Journal. Alabama and Texas lifted restrictions on food stamps for ex-offenders this year. California and Missouri eliminated their bans last year.
Alabama also allows former drug offenders who submit to drug testing to receive welfare, the article notes.
A 1996 federal law disqualifies people convicted of state and federal drug offenses from receiving benefits, but allows states to make exceptions.
Drug offenders are eligible for the federal welfare program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in 12 states. Almost two dozen states allow ex-offenders to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.