Pubdate: Sat, 11 Nov 2000
Source: Dayton Daily News (OH)
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re the Higher Education Act's impact on student loans:

It's interesting that a drug offense is the only conviction that would 
disqualify a student from receiving federal aid for college. Apparently, 
past convictions for murder, rape or assault are of no concern to Congress.

What kind of anti-drug message does this send to students?

The only message I'm getting is that drug hysteria has gotten completely 
out of hand. Denying an education to students who need it most will have a 
decidedly negative impact on society. This punitive measure will 
disproportionately affect poor and minority students.

Although only 15 percent of this country's drug users are black, blacks 
account for 37 percent of those arrested for drug violations, more than 42 
percent of those in federal prisons for drug violations and almost 60 
percent of those in state prisons for drug felonies.

Again, what kind of anti-drug message does this glaring example of 
injustice send to youth?

Robert Sharpe, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Sharpe is program officer at the Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy 
Foundation. For more information, see
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D