Pubdate: Wed, 14 Mar 2007
Source: Daily Sundial, The (CA Edu)
Copyright: Daily Sundial 2007
Author: Robert Sharpe, MPA
Note: Titled by newshawk
Bookmark: (Higher Education Act)


Dear Editor,

Paul Castillo is to be commended 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 murders 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 shattering.

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 to the long-term
effects of criminal records. Students who want to help end the
intergenerational culture war otherwise known as the war on some drugs
should contact Students for Sensible Drug Policy at

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug
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