Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by roach, Mar 13, 2001.

  1. The following announcement is being forwarded by roach on behalf of
    For more information,
    please visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com. Thank you.

    Dear friend,

    The folks at the Drug Reform Coordination Network are writing today to ask
    you to take two short minutes to raise your voice to Congress on an
    issue of great importance. You may already know that the Higher
    Education Act of 1998, reauthorizing all federal student aid programs,
    included an unfortunate provision, first gone into effect this school
    year, that delays or denies all federal financial aid eligibility for
    any drug conviction, no matter how minor.

    A nationwide, student-led campaign to overturn the law has since
    sprung up, and on February 28th, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) reintroduced
    legislation to repeal the HEA drug provision once and for all.
    H.R. 786, which is identical to Frank's H.R. 1053 from the last
    Congress, is cosponsored by 24 members of Congress, and more than 40
    student governments around the country have passed resolutions calling
    for the law's repeal. Please visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com to
    ask your Reps and Senators in Congress and the President to support

    When you are done, call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121
    to reach your Reps and Senators by phone and deliver an even stronger
    message, or look them up at http://www.house.gov and http://www.senate.gov online.

    Regardless of how you feel about drugs or the drug laws, we hope
    you'll agree that cutting off access to educational opportunity will
    be counterproductive and detrimental to the future of tens of
    thousands of young people and to our nation as a whole, and is an
    unnecessary and vindictive second punishment leveled against people
    who have already paid whatever price the criminal justice system

    So, please fill out our online petition calling on Congress to enact
    the Frank bill -- identical to H.R. 1053 from the last Congress -- to
    repeal the HEA drug provision and restore judge's discretion. Point
    your browser to http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com to sign the petition and
    learn more about the HEA drug provision and how and why students and a
    wide range of national organizations, including the ACLU, NAACP and
    the United States Students Association, are organizing to oppose it.
    Our petition will send a letter originating from your own e-mail
    address, and targeted directly to YOUR US Representative, two Senators
    and the President. Again, the site is:


    Last but not least, students and educators please visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com to request an information packet on how
    to get involved in the campaign. We need your help!

    Here are some reasons the HEA drug provision is wrong:

    * Judges already have the power to rescind financial aid eligibility
    as individual cases warrant. The HEA drug provision removes that

    * The vast majority of Americans convicted of a drug offense are
    convicted of nonviolent, low-level possession.

    * The HEA drug provision represents a penalty levied only on the
    poor and the working class; wealthier students will not have the
    doors of college closed to them for want of financial aid.

    * The HEA drug provision will also have a disparate impact on
    different races. African Americans, for example, who comprise 13%
    of the population and 13% of all drug users, account for more than
    55% of those convicted of drug charges.

    * No other class of offense carries automatic loss of financial aid

    * Access to a college education is the surest route to the
    mainstream economy and a crime-free life.

    For further information on the HEA reform campaign, visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com -- and visit DRCNet's web site at http://www.drcnet.org for much more information on the impact of the
    drug war on society. Visit http://www.ssdp.org for information about
    Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

    Thank you for taking a stand,

    David Borden, Executive Director, DRCNet
    Steven Silverman & Chris Evans, DRCNet Campus Coordinators
    Shawn Heller, Students for Sensible Drug Policy

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