Pubdate: Mon, 26 May 2003
Source: Delta Democrat Times (MS)
Copyright: 2003 Delta Democrat Times
Author: Anita T. Mayfield
Bookmark: (Higher Education Act)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Terrorism)
Bookmark: (Youth)



The Higher Education Act was signed into law more than three decades ago by 
President Lyndon B. Johnson to open the door for all Americans to a college 
education to whom it had earlier been closed.

It establishes federal financial aid programs such as Perkins Loans, Pell 
Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, PLUS Loans and 
Work-Study programs. The act is periodically reviewed and updated by 
Congress to ensure adequate funding and access to college for millions of 

Then, the 1998 revision to the HEA included a new provision that blocked 
college opportunities to students revealing drug convictions on their free 
application for federal student aid.

This is completely discriminatory to children of lesser means or adults who 
want to continue their education and better themselves but cannot because 
of a possession charge.

This law does not apply to children of wealthy-enough parents who can 
easily pay for their child's education, no matter if their child has been 
jailed for felony possession. This is strictly a law against poor people, 
but what else is new?

More than 150,000 students have lost their chance at education and we're 
still counting. This is an outright disaster.

Now, the truly outrageous slap-in-the-face deal about this law is that a 
convicted murderer, rapist or child molester can get financial aid from the 
government to further their educations.

The message they're giving us is: "Oh, go out and murder, and rape and 
sodomize my children, my mother, my father, my sisters and my brothers and 
we'll make sure you can get an education. But, by God, if you go and have a 
relaxing smoke instead of the well-sanctioned-martini, and we, as the 
government of, for and by the people, will keep you down for the rest of 
your pathetic little lives. But, hey, would you please remember to go out 
and vote for me anyway?"

We are a sick society that will punish a marijuana offender more severely 
than a murderer. Do you honestly think they are truly concerned about our 
well being? Do you think that marijuana smokers cause terrorism?

As you can plainly see, what really causes terrorism is prohibition.

We are 80 million strong marijuana users in the U.S. We are not criminals. 
We are your family, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers and we 
are tax payers. Do you know what kind of voting power that is?

Remember this: Laws are interchangeable, and so are the politicians.

Anita T. Mayfield, Nettleton
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