Pubdate: Sat, 28 Mar 2009
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2009 Globe Newspaper Company
Author: Jimi Devine


Senator Scott Brown's legislation to introduce penalties for the
personal possession of marijuana while in a vehicle is heavily
flawed. His bill would not only be creating a fine 10 times larger
than what 65 percent of state voters decided was appropriate last 
November, but also create a criminal penalty costing any university
student receiving financial aid access to education.

Right now there is no criminal penalty for the personal possession of
marijuana under 1 ounce, meaning students are not threatened with the
loss of financial aid because of a civil citation. By creating a
criminal  penalty, any student caught with marijuana in the car,  not
necessarily smoking it, will lose access to federal financial aid
because of the Higher Education Act Aid Elimination Penalty.

Creating roadblocks to education in the middle of an economic
recession is a terrible strategy to solving substance abuse issues.

Jimi Devine


The writer is on the national board of directors of  Students for
Sensible Drug Policy.
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