With the new school year
already upon us, and Congressional elections just over a month away, we
at the Drug Reform Coordination Network are writing to ask you to help
turn up the heat on the student-led campaign to repeal the Higher Education
Act's drug provision.
During the 2001-2002 school
year, more than 47,700 students were denied access to federal college aid
because of drug convictions, loans, grants, even work-study programs.
This number doesn't account for people who didn't bother applying because
they assumed they would be ineligible. The current academic year,
the third in which the drug provision is in force and the second in which
it is being fully enforced, is expected to see just as many young people
forced out of school or they or their families plunged into financial hardship
because of the HEA drug provision.
In 2002-2003, there is more
hope than ever. A bill in the US House of Representatives to repeal
the drug provision, H.R. 786, has 67 cosponsors, and ten members of Congress
spoke at our press conference last May to call for the provision's full
repeal, a stunning success. And Students for Sensible Drug Policy
now stretches across more than 200 campuses, with hundreds more in the
works. Your voice is again needed, to continue to move this issue
forward and repeal the provision in 2003 or 2004 when the Higher Education
Act is reauthorized by Congress.
We have just finished updating
our HEA activist packet, so please visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com
to learn about the issue, download the packet, and to sign our petition
telling you want them to remove the drug war from education and repeal
the anti-drug financial aid ban. When you're done, please call your
US Representative on the phone to make an even stronger impact -- you can
call them via the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or visit
http://www.house.gov to look up their
Students, visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com/students.html
to find out how to get involved with the campaign on your campus -- more
than 90 student governments so far have endorsed our resolution calling
for repeal of the drug provision. If you're already at work on this,
please write us at [email protected]
and let us know what's happening. Also, visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com/download.html
for an online copy of the activist packet. Leave your e-mail address
if you want to receive occasional updates on the HEA campaign.
Please forward this alert
to your friends or use the tell-a-friend form on RaiseYourVoice.com, and
please consider making a donation -- large or small -- to keep this and
other DRCNet efforts moving forward at full speed. Visit http://www.drcnet.org/donate/
to help, or mail your check or money order to DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington,
DC 20036. (Contact us for instruction if you wish to make a donation
Again, visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com
to write to Congress and get involved in the campaign! In the meantime,
here are some more reasons why the HEA drug provision is wrong:
-- END --
The vast majority of Americans
convicted of drug offenses 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 to financial
The HEA drug provision has a
disparate impact on different races. African Americans, for example,
comprise 13% of the population and 13% of all drug users, but account for
more than 55% of those convicted of drug possession charges.
No other class of offenses,
not even rape or murder, carries automatic loss of financial aid eligibility.
Access to a college education
is the surest route to the mainstream economy and a crime-free life.
Issue #256, 9/27/02
Editorial: The Tulia Lynchings | Medical Marijuana Supporters Rally in Sacramento | WAMM Files Federal Motion for Return of Marijuana Seized in Dispensary Raid | Calling on Students to Raise Your Voices for Repeal of the HEA Drug Provision | Former British Drug Czar Mo Mowlam Calls for Total Global Legalization, Cites Need to Quit Funding Political Violence | UC San Diego Orders Student Group to Drop Hyperlink to FARC Web Site, Cites Patriot Act | Colombian Leader Meets with Bush, Paramilitary Leader to Surrender Following US Indictment | Newsbrief: Putin to Create Russian DEA | Newsbrief: RAVE Act Sheds Another Cosponsor | Newsbrief: Buzzkill -- Venerable DC Weekly Rave Party Dies from Overdose of Ecstasy Enforcement | Newsbrief: UN Drug Control Chief Warns Canada Not to Legalize Marijuana | Newsbrief: French Cannabis Growers Create Facts on Ground | Newsbrief: German Health Ministry Says Safe Drug Centers Save Lives | Do You Read The Week Online? | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar
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