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  Bush To Enforce Financial Aid Drug Law
Posted by FoM on April 17, 2001 at 19:58:47 PT
By Ken Maguire, Associated Press Writer 
Source: Associated Press 

justice The Bush administration has decided to enforce a previously ignored law denying federal financial aid to college students with drug convictions. Hundreds of thousands of applicants who did not answer a drug conviction question on their applications were not denied aid during the Clinton administration, despite the law saying they should have been.

Now, failure to answer the question will result in rejection of the application.

"Congress passed legislation and our department is obliged to carry out that legislative direction," Education Department spokeswoman Lindsey Kozberg said Tuesday.

Critics say the law unfairly punishes less wealthy applicants because they are the ones who need financial aid and encourages people with drug convictions to lie.

"If they tell the truth, they're not going to get their aid; but if they lie, they are going to get their aid," said Shawn Heller, director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. "It sets a terrible example."

Officials acknowledge there's little defense against lying because they lack resources to check all 10 million applications received annually. Instead, they conduct random audits.

Education Secretary Rod Paige and financial aid officials decided late last month they would enforce the law beginning with the 2001-02 application pool, Kozberg said. The cycle began in January.

The law withholds grants, loans or work assistance from people convicted, under federal or state law, of possession or sale of controlled substances. It does not include alcohol or tobacco.

A first offense possession conviction makes a student ineligible for aid for one year after the date of conviction and a second offense for two years. A third possession conviction results in indefinite ineligibility. Drug sale convictions bring tougher penalties.

The 1998 measure, authored by Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., took effect last July. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has filed a bill to overturn it.

The Clinton administration ignored it because of a processing backlog created when nearly 1 million applicants skipped the question.

In the 2000-01 cycle, nearly 300,000 applicants who ultimately refused to answer still received aid, despite the law. Only 8,620 answered yes and were denied aid.

Compliance this cycle has improved, thanks to a new line in the application instructing people that it's mandatory to answer the question.

Of 4 million applications so far, only 14,800 have refused to answer. An additional 27,000 revealed a drug conviction, but nearly half were determined still eligible after completing an eligibility worksheet, a department spokesman said.

Rep. Barney Frank:

Rep. Mark Souder:

Students for Sensible Drug Policy:

On the Net: Education Department:

Source: Associated Press
Author: Ken Maguire, Associated Press Writer
Published: April 17, 2001
Copyright: 2001 Associated Press

Related Articles:

Students and Senators? vs. the Drug War

USG Supports Drug Provision Repeal

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Comment #16 posted by dddd on June 01, 2001 at 12:43:32 PT
no problem
OK Hoober,,,no big deal,,,If you think it's fair and just to single out some stupid kid who got caught with some weed,then that's fine with me......that way there will be more classroom space for the rapists,child molesters,and murderers to get funded....And then they will meet your daughter,and take her out on a date........she wont have to meet up with those slimeball pothead criminals...after all,,rape and murder arent that bad compared to someone who would be so criminally imbalanced that they actually smoked pot.....

.have a good day...


[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on June 01, 2001 at 12:18:34 PT:

Whoa, Hoober
What if the person is using cannabis to treat a medical condition? Does that temper your opinion, or would you not draw the line there? Is is better that this purported drug user can't get an education because of the policy?

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #14 posted by Hoober on June 01, 2001 at 11:18:18 PT:

Who Owes You Money For College?

Certainly not the Feds. It isn't their money. It looks like the vitriol over this is misplaced. No ones youthful drug use will stop them from getting a loan. Only a recent bust
will affect loan approval. According to the law:

A first offense possession conviction makes a student ineligible for aid for one year after the date of conviction and a second offense for two years. A third possession conviction results in indefinite ineligibility. Drug sale convictions bring tougher penalties.

If consuming drugs is more important to you than going to school, you only have yourself to blame. IOW, if you've got the cash to blow on weed, you can afford to pay your own way into college. Don't expect the taxpayers to foot the bill for your education so you can spend your own money on dope.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by KATHY WEDZIK on April 19, 2001 at 15:31:27 PT
I GUESS......

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #12 posted by jAHn on April 19, 2001 at 13:01:09 PT
Lord Bush II is jelly in the masters' buns!
This is just the Big Businesses Plot to Try to help "Lord Bush II" Seem a little bit smarter for the TeleToob Boobs.
"Lord Bush II" is a very Stupid person, so of course, they must go to Extreme measures, as such, to assist the ass that's too dumb for the grass!
I wonder if his wife, Laura, does Drugs to keep her thoughts in check about that jogger that she killed when she was "sneaking out for cigarettes" when she was, reportedly, 17 years old!
Phew...I know the Bush's are DEADLY, but not to this Capacity!
It's almost like the whole family is a bunch of Misfits!
It would be cool if they didn't live in Denial while kissing up on the Toob....Oh well....It's YOUR president. I dont' Vote! I'm not Dumb enough for stuff like that!
"He/She/It who counts the votes-Decides it all!"

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #11 posted by Pepe on April 19, 2001 at 04:33:19 PT
Whatchu talkin' about?
I bot that chit from a cop mon!

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #10 posted by freedom fighter on April 18, 2001 at 17:14:07 PT
This is just so sickening!
I have talked with different folks and I can tell you that most folks do not know that law even exist.

They go like "WHAT?". I even mentioned this to a lawyer and he goes like, "I have never heard of this before." He kinda looked at me in a funny way like if I did not possibly could know about this issue. After all, I am just a deaf American Male..

This has to stop now.

In name of Freedom
This law is unconsitutional!


[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by mayan on April 18, 2001 at 16:29:35 PT
This is completely counterproductive to our society. An education is going to help a person and their city,state,country & world. To deny someone an education because they got caught with some grass is not going to help that person in the long run & it will even hurt society. As long as we vote for the RepubliCrats we will have insane, idiotic laws like this one. The upper-class see the middle class as a threat to the status-quo so they eliminate the middle-class.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #8 posted by DontArrestMe on April 18, 2001 at 13:52:56 PT
It is ignorant of him to enforce the law. And what is funny is that they will use the fact that some people with records won't be able to afford college to say that drug use causes delinquincy. The truth is that the law will cause delinquincy. Oh well...I hope I keep my scholarships.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #7 posted by Ratchetjaw on April 18, 2001 at 09:35:18 PT
How convenient
that the Congress exempts itself from the very laws that they saddle us with. Drug laws, especially; this come in handy when your own kids get caught:

from this page @

Congress, Your Hypocrisy is Showing:
Plan to Drug-test Politicians is Killed

WASHINGTON, DC -- If federally mandated drug testing is such a good idea for high school students, public-housing residents, and bus drivers, why isn't it good
enough for Congressmen?

That's what Libertarians are asking after the Republican House leadership quietly torpedoed an effort to mandate drug testing for every member of Congress.

"These Congressmen must be getting high on hypocrisy," said Libertarian Party National Director Ron Crickenberger.

"Why else would they wage a War on Drugs on the rest of us, but declare a drug-testing truce in the halls of Congress?"

Last week, Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) said the House was too "busy, busy, busy" to consider a proposal that would have required all 435 House members and their staffs to take random tests for illegal drug use.

Armey and other Republican leaders discreetly declined to set a date for a vote on the motion, effectively killing it for the year.

The decision to quash the drug-testing plan has Libertarians unsure whether to applaud Congressmen for their wisdom or jeer them for their hypocrisy, admitted Crickenberger. For example...

One of the reasons Congress was too "busy, busy, busy" to debate the drug-testing proposal was because it was "busy, busy, busy" passing new legislation to ratchet up the Drug War.

"So far this term, Congress passed a $17 billion drug war budget; approved stationing U.S. troops on our borders to fight drug smuggling; killed a bill that would have curbed asset forfeiture abuses; and voted to spend $2 billion for a five-year anti-drug advertising campaign," said Crickenberger. "In addition, Republican leaders vowed to launch a World War II-style blitzkrieg to wipe out drug abuse. Does this seem just a little hypocritical?"

Even more ironic: News reports indicated that many lawmakers had quietly opposed the measure because drug testing was "unnecessary and insulting" and "undignified."

"To those Congressmen, we say: Welcome to the Drug War," said Crickenberger. "Too bad 270 million other Americans will continue to endure those same unnecessary, insulting, and undignified violations of their Constitutional rights. Why is there one set of standards for politicians who make the laws, and another for ordinary Americans who suffer under them?"

Despite the draconian punishments that Congress has mandated for drug offenses, the proposed drug-testing measure would have merely required that any House member who tested positive be reported to the Ethics Committee.

"If Congressmen want to play Drug Warriors, shouldn't all the rules of the game apply to them?" asked Crickenberger. "If they tested positive for illegal drugs, shouldn't they be immediately arrested? Be subjected to mandatory-minimum jail terms? Face a death sentence if they are declared Drug Kingpins? Have their assets seized? If these harsh punishments are really needed to fight drugs, isn't it only fair that they apply to Congressmen, too?"

Finally, proponents of the drug-testing plan had argued that the House needs to "set a good example" for the nation, since so many Americans -- including air-traffic
controllers, high school athletes, public-housing residents, and bus drivers -- are subject to government-required drug testing.

"Actually, the House set a good example by rejecting this plan," countered Crickenberger. "Now maybe it will set an even better example by protecting every other American from the horrors of the War on Drugs. After all, Congressmen finally summoned the courage to stand up for their own Constitutional rights. When will they start standing up for ours?"

and I got som more:


Government Reform and Oversight

by Beth George

After his son was arrested in Louisiana in January 1994 for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, Congressman Dan Burton (R-Ind.) stated: "Any time one of your children gets into this kind of trouble, it's horrible for the parents" according to James Bovard's article in Playboy, April 1997.

Bovard explains that young Dan Burton II and a friend "were coming from Houston, where they paid $6,000.00 for the drugs." Burton could have faced many months in federal prison, but "was sentenced to only five year's probation, 2000 hours of community service, three years of house arrest and random drug screening" by Louisiana officials.

When Burton was arrested five months later for growing 30 marijuana plants in Indianapolis, he could have faced five years in federal prison under federal mandatory minimum rules, according to Bovard. But this case was also tried at the state level, with the prosecutor throwing out all charges.

Families Against Mandatory Minimums, (FAMM), headquartered in Washington DC, objects to disparity in enforcing Mandatory Minimums, and points to many instances in which legislators' offspring have received light sentences in drug cases.

What is unique about the Burton case is the elder Burton's position as Chair of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, which has management oversight responsibility over the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

So, if Danny Burton's son wants to get a school loan, how much trouble would he have?

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by Rainbow on April 18, 2001 at 07:50:20 PT
email Souder
I just emailed Souder with a piece of my mind. His racist and elitist views are abhorrent.
If you live in Indiana please campaign against him.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #5 posted by Charlie on April 18, 2001 at 06:55:44 PT
Bush is a weed.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #4 posted by The GCW on April 18, 2001 at 04:54:48 PT
What about his daughter?
She got busted recently in Taxes and so she is now not able to apply for those grants etc., right? How can society help make things fair when she will not need grants and so will go to school. Just because she is not poor enough to want grants, she is uneffected. She should be effected so it is fair, which will excellerate the end of this irrational policy toward cannabis. Perhaps the policy would be more fair if all citizens were not allowed to go to school instead of not allowed grants. Either way it should be the same consiquences for all. It is legal or illegal and all will pay fairly.

I will not start a revolution, yet if the country starts a revolution, I must become part of it in clear mind. This is the kind of stuff that would not start a revolution, yet in Cinncinati, Ohio, there is a good example of how it may well help.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on April 17, 2001 at 23:01:42 PT
Censored Doonesbury Political Cartoon
I made a little page about George Bush's arrest when the story first was reported. He does have a double standard.

Censored Doonesbury Political Cartoon

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Whatpot on April 17, 2001 at 21:42:11 PT:

Doesn't it seem strange that people with a felony conviction aren't allowed to vote but the President has a felony record?

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #1 posted by Imprint on April 17, 2001 at 20:59:50 PT:

Doesn’t the US have bigger fish to fry?
Bush logic: Lying good, truth bad; rich good, poor bad; drunk driving good, drugs bad.
Clinton doesn’t get off free either. He allowed this law to breathe life.
The game isn’t going to be that hard to figure out. Every kid in the nation will fill out the form with “no drug convictions”. The kids with drug convictions know full well that they have nothing to loose. It will be like a lottery ticket. It just doesn’t make sense, I though an education was a good thing? Doesn’t this just amount to kicking someone when they are down?
Also, having grown up in Nevada I watched the rich kids get off time after time while the poor kids got conviction after convection.

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