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Urge your U.S. senators and representative to enable student financial aid for those with drug convictions

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For years, drug convictions have risked the loss of federal financial aid for college students. Prior efforts to repeal this hurdle have failed, and the current repeal effort needs all voters’ support to make the repeal a reality. With such a conservative as Orrin Hatch among the Act’s co-sponsors, perhaps the climate is more favorable than ever for such repeal.

Here is a sample letter — with beneficial links — that you might consider sending to your United States senators and representatives:

Dear ____________:

Please join the bipartisan effort through the SUCCESS Act (Stopping Unfair Collateral Consequences from Ending Student Success) (S. 2557 and H.R. 4004) to repeal the federal law (20 U.S.C. §1091) barring federal financial aid for college students who get drug convictions.

A drug conviction by itself is a sufficient scarlet letter for a student who uses the poor judgment to violate the drug law. Pulling federal financial aid for such students is overkill when an important step to rehabilitation is to resume and focus on one’s education and career path.

As SUCCESS Act Senate co-sponsor Orrin Hatch recently told the Huffington Post: “It is not the Education Department’s job to punish students for drug infractions… Statistics and common sense tell us it is bad policy to deny students education if we want to reduce drug abuse and encourage young people to become successful.”

Added Senate co-sponsor Bob Casey to the Huffington Post, “A youthful mistake shouldn’t keep a person out of college and the middle class… There’s now an emerging bipartisan consensus on the need to reform our criminal justice system and ensure students who have already paid their debt to society are not punished twice.”

Please support the SUCCESS Act, and please urge your colleagues to do the same.