Pubdate: Wed, 20 Jun 2001
Source: In Pittsburgh Weekly (PA)
Copyright: 2001 In Pittsburgh Weekly and Review Publishing, LP
Note: Contact info is for Senior Editor Steve Volk
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding P.R. Taylor's excellent column on the Higher Education Act's 
denial of student loans to youth convicted of drug offenses ["What's Dubya 
Smoking?", May 2]: President George W. Bush would not be in the White House 
right now if he had been arrested and denied student loans due to his 
"youthful indiscretions." Let's not kid ourselves. Bush's bizarre waffling 
on the subject all but confirms past illegal drug use. Then again, anyone 
born into a wealthy family need not fear the impact of the Higher Education 
Act. 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.

The hypocrisy of the drug war is glaring. Alcohol poisoning kills thousands 
annually, while marijuana is not physically addictive and has never been 
shown to cause an overdose death.

In Europe, the Netherlands has successfully reduced overall drug use by 
replacing marijuana prohibition with regulation. Drug policy reform may 
send the "wrong message" to children, but I like to think the children 
themselves are more important than the message.

Lindesmith Center/Drug Policy Foundation
Washington, D.C.
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