Pubdate: Wed, 12 Apr 2006
Source: Lantern, The (OH Edu)
Copyright: 2006 The Lantern
Author: Robert Sharpe


To the Editor:

Thank you for raising awareness of the Higher Education Act's denial
of student loans to youths convicted of drug offenses.

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

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

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 politically 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 with the long-term
effects of criminal records.

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy
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