Monday, October 30, 2006

The ball is in Congress's court - Act now!

I'm outraged to announce that on Friday, a federal judge granted the Bush administration's motion to dismiss Students for Sensible Drug Policy's lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law that strips financial aid from college students with drug convictions.

Now, more than ever, it's time to pressure Congress to do its job and overturn the unfair and harmful penalty that has prevented nearly 200,000 would-be students from getting their lives back on track. We've made it easy for you to send a message to your legislators with just a few clicks.

Even though the judge didn't rule that the penalty is unconstitutional, he did agree with us that it "results in some inequality." For now, the ball is in Congress's court.

While it's unfortunate that students harmed by this penalty won't yet have our day in court, we will soon be heard in the halls of Congress. On November 17, hundreds of SSDP members will take our concerns directly to lawmakers' doorsteps when we gather in Washington, DC for our national lobby day and conference. To follow up on the letters you send, we'll be asking members of Congress to support H.R. 1184, the Removing Impediments to Students' Education (RISE) Act, which already has 71 co-sponsors and would overturn the harmful penalty.

We're currently consulting with our dedicated attorneys at the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project and will decide shortly if we'll be appealing the ruling. You can find out more about the lawsuit here.

In the meantime, please contact your legislators today and tell them to do the right thing by repealing this penalty.

1 comment:

800 pound gorilla said...

It's all about obeying the law. It's never been about the drugs. The fact that there are no valid definition for restriction only highlights the problem. Politicians decide to criminalize a drug - likely based on who uses [abuses] the drug [although drugs with expired patents get preferential treatment]- so anyone who uses the drug is criminally inclined. So instead of "rebellious" teenagers or teenagers eager to emulate the social bonding with drugs mechanism of adults we have criminals - by definition. Do we really want to give our hard earned [stolen?] tax dollars to criminals?

Of course, the real outcry comes from children with parents who wield influence. We have our police trained to avoid these children: hence the lackluster enforcement of rules on fraternity gangsters compared to those against street gangs. We have our media trained to parrot any and all "studies" emanating from authority figures who determine illegality of drugs. And these lapdogs are SOOOO well trained!
Apparently, we need to get our police better trained. Or we need to get parents to keep their well heeled children away from the riff raff. Either way, the hierarchical system must be preserved. After all, that's where the politicians get their campaigns bankrolled.