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Call your Congress member now, to stop Rep. Souder’s ongoing efforts to bar financial aid even for marijuana possession

Sep 17, 2009 Call your Congress member now, to stop Rep. Souder’s ongoing efforts to bar financial aid even for marijuana possession

For years, students with convictions for drug convictions as minor as possessing marijuana would have their federal financial aid stripped away as a result. Wonderfully, currently proposed legislation will take a huge bite out of that sting by limiting financial aid deprivation to those with drug sales convictions during the time they receive financial aid, even though hopefully even that penalty will ultimately go away.

However, Indiana Rep. Mark Souder is expected today to introduce on the House floor an amendment to strike the provision that shields mere drug possession from loss of student financial aid.

Before you do anything else, please call (or else e-mail) your Congressmember to oppose any effort to weaken efforts to shield students from financial aid loss for drug convictions. The legislation is the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act ("SAFRA"), H.R. 3221. Just call the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can also find the websites (and thus email contact information) for your House members at http://house.gov .

Section 123 to the SAFRA provides that a "student who is convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the sale of a controlled substance for conduct that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving any grant, loan, or work assistance under this title shall not be eligible to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance under this title from the date of that conviction for the period of time specified in the following subparagraphs: (A) For a first offense, the period of ineligibility shall be 2 years; (B) For a second offense, the period of ineligibility shall be indefinite.’"

Thanks to Students or Sensible Drug Policy and Stop the Drug War for promoting action against Rep. Souder’s proposal to continue penalizing students even for simple drug possession. Please call your House member now.

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