Pubdate: Mon, 24 Oct 2005
Source: Post, The (Ohio U, OH Edu)
Copyright: 2005 The Post
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Higher Education Act)
Bookmark: (Youth)


This letter is in response to the Oct. 18 editorial, "High(er) 
Education." Thank The Post for raising awareness of the Higher 
Education Act's denial of student loans to youth convicted of drug offenses.

Instead of empowering at-risk students with a college degree, HEA 
limits career opportunities and increases the likelihood that those 
affected will resort to crime. Speaking of crime, convicted rapists 
and murderers are still eligible for federal student loans.

Most students outgrow their youthful indiscretions involving illicit 
drugs. An arrest and criminal record, on the other hand, can be life 

After admitting to smoking pot (but not inhaling), former President 
Bill Clinton opened himself up to "soft on drugs" criticism. And 
thousands of Americans have paid the price in the form of shattered 
lives. More Americans went to prison or jail during the Clinton 
administration than during any past administration.

As an admitted former drinker and alleged illicit drug user, 
President George W. Bush is also vulnerable when it comes to drugs. 
While youthful indiscretions didn't stop Clinton or Bush from 
assuming leadership positions, an arrest surely would have.

The short-term effects of marijuana are inconsequential compared to 
the long-term effects of criminal records. Students who want to help 
reform harmful drug laws should contact Students for Sensible Drug 
Policy at

- - Robert Sharpe is a policy analyst for the organization Common Sense 
for Drug Policy. For more information go to
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman