Section 813 - Doubled Penalties for Violating Food Stamp Program Requirements
Q. Section 813 disqualifies an individual trading food stamps for a controlled substance for 2 years. Section 115 would make individuals convicted of a felony drug violation ineligible for the program. Does this mean that anyone convicted of a drug felony relating to the sale of food stamps would become ineligible as opposed to disqualified?
A. Unless the State has opted out of the permanent disqualification by State law or the State has passed a law limiting the period that the disqualification applies, the indefinite period applies. Regardless of whether the person is considered to be ineligible or disqualified, all of his or her income and resources would be counted for food stamp purposes in accordance with section 115 of the recent law or 7 CFR 273.11(c)(1).
Q. Do the provisions in Sections 813 and 115 apply to legal but controlled substances? Do they apply to drug-related violations, i.e., violations committed while under the influence of drugs?
A. Section 813 applies to a finding by a Federal, State, or local court of the trading of a "controlled substance" as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) for coupons. Section 115 makes an individual convicted under Federal or State law of any felony offense which has as an element the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled substance as defined in section 102(6) of the Controlled Substance Act permanently ineligible for the program unless the State passes a law to opt out of this provision. Section 102(6) provides that,
- The term "controlled substance" means a drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, included in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V of part B of this subchapter. The term does not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco....
Q. Is advance notification required before applying the provisions of this Section?
A. The regular due process requirements in the regulations apply. There is nothing in the new legislation that requires a special notice to households.