Wednesday, March 22, 2006

WANTED: Missing college students - Please raise your hand

I know there are almost 200,000 of you out there, but despite my best efforts, I've only met a handful of you. You know who you are... Your plans to go to college were derailed after you lost your financial aid for getting a drug conviction.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the American Civil Liberties Union are now seeking plaintiffs for a class action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law that strips college financial aid from students with drug convictions.

Maybe you had to drop out of school for a little (or long) while, maybe you were able to stay in school by taking less classes so you could work extra hours to make up for lost tuition assistance, or maybe you just got convicted and don't really know what's going to happen with the future of your education.

For years, SSDP students across the country have lobbied Congress to scrap this harmful and ineffective Drug War policy. But we've always had a hard time getting our peers who have been affected by the law to come forward and share their stories. Without being able to put a face on the law, we've had a hard time showing lawmakers the real harm it causes.

But now is your chance to stand up and claim your tuition money back.

Students who have lost their financial aid because of drug convictions can sign up and be considered as plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit. If we're successful, we'll erase this law from the books and make sure that no student ever again has to fear losing their college access because of a minor drug conviction.

For more information about the lawsuit and the aid ban itself, visit or contact

Also, you can help even if you don't have a conviction:

On the lawsuit info page, you'll find flyers that you can print and hang up or hand out to help us find more plaintiffs for the class action case.

And be sure to sign up for periodic news updates and action alerts from SSDP:

Email Address:

Finally, check out today's New York Times article on the ACLU/SSDP lawsuit.


Anonymous said...

You're desperate.

kaptinemo said...

(Chuckling) If anyone is desperate, it's the professional DrugWarriors; a class action suit on the order of the one being proposed could be a punishing blow indeed to the self-proclaimed moral proctors.

Just the negative publicity alone generated from the court case (such as middle-class kids denied tuition assistance for a pot possession charge when a convicted murderer doesn't have to jump through such hoops) would have a bruising effect upon the carefully cultivated public facade of those who so piously, unctuously intone they are 'doing it to save the chil-drunnnnn!' while, of course, feverishly lining their own pockets from taxpayer-funded boondoggles like this.

'Desperate'? Suuuure someone's desperate. But it's the ones with the most to lose from drug law reform, politically, monetarily, and socially, that have reason to be desperate.

Anonymous said...

The police let the drugs onto the streets of America, then collect funds from the powers that distribute while demonizing drugs, arresting these kids putting them in jail and making them work for corporations at $3/hour. Sounds like a plan!

Joe Snitty said...

Great blog, guys. Been meaning to add you to the Bring It On links page for a while now and finally did so tonight.

QED said...

i wish you the best of luck, guys. depriving students of financial aid for trifling drug offenses is surely one of the most egregious elements of the american drug war.

i used to be ssdp when i was a student, and i have to say i'm mighty impressed with your site. kudos, and keep up the great work!

Steve H. Steiner said...

I was denied financial aid before I failed out of junior college in upstate New York. Please sign me up.

Jonathan Perri said...

Failed out?? Well, I guess that explains alot Steve... like why you would start DAMMADD. Our goal is to get financial aid back to those who have a 2.0gpa at least. You wouldn't qualify anyway.

Anonymous said...


Let me let you in on a little secret...that wasn't really Steiner. It was a lame attempt at humor.

Jonathan Perri said...

My comment was also a lame attempt at humor. I figured Steve Stiener had not failed out of junior college, and even if he had why would he post it on the SSDP blog? Just fighting sarcasm w/ more sarcasm. ;)

Also gave me a chance to rip on DAMMADD. I dislike them oh so very much!