Long-time StoptheDrugWar supporters know that since 1999 we have campaigned for repeal of a law that delays or denies financial aid for college to students because of drug convictions. In part because of our efforts, the law was scaled back in 2006 -- by the Republican-controlled Congress, to be limited to drug offenses committed while one is in college and receiving federal aid.
Earlier this year, the House Education and Labor Committee included language in its student loan package that would restrict the law further to just apply to drug sales convictions. The law's original author, arch-drug warrior Mark Souder, tried to have the language stripped from the bill on the House floor earlier this fall, but withdrew the amendment, admitting that it was likely to fail. That means the good language has passed the House of Representatives -- which means it will be taken up in conference committee whether the Senate passes similar language or not.
There was some talk of it getting changed to apply just to felonies, instead of applying just to drug sales, as a compromise. But either way it will help a lot of people. Our long-term strategy of mobilizing large numbers of mainstream organizations is paying off -- we are winning. Stay tuned.
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