Pubdate: Mon, 23 Jul 2001
Source: Bellingham Herald (WA)
Copyright: 2001 Bellingham Herald
Author: Tyree Callahan


The Herald was right in opposing Indiana Republican Rep. Mark Souder's
Drug-Free Student Aid Provision to the 1998 Higher Education Act ("Student
aid rule too trendy," Herald, July 18). According to Education Department
statistics, more than 8,000 individuals with drug convictions were denied
financial aid for the school year 2000-2001. The Drug-Free Student Aid
Provision, which was amended to the Higher Education Act of 1998, is an
unprecedented law blocking educational access to thousands of students.
Education Department officials estimate that during the approaching
2001-2002 academic year, an estimated 30,000 students will be denied aid --
the increase due to tighter restrictions on students not answering the
application question regarding drug convictions.

This provision is a disgrace, particularly for a country that purports to
place a high value on education. Fortunately, efforts are under way to
repeal the provision. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has sponsored legislation
(H.R. 786) to repeal the provision. The Bellingham chapter of Students for
Sensible Drug Policy is one of more than 140 chapters nationwide
encouraging our elected representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 786.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy promotes involvement in opposition to
this drug provision and other poorly devised drug policies. For more
information on the campaign to repeal the drug provision, see If you have been denied aid because of a
drug conviction, Students for Sensible Drug Policy would like to hear from
you. Contact  or e-mail the local chapter of Tyree Callahan
Bellingham Students for Sensible Drug Policy
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth