A vote is expected today on a controversial amendment to the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 introduced by Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN). The amendment seeks to strike out reform in the SAFRA that would allow students with drug possession convictions to receive financial aid for college, while barring only those convicted of selling drugs. Organizations such as Students for Sensible Drug Policy (which, when not volunteering for HeadCount, is my fulltime employer) argue that this is sensible reform, considering that nearly 90% of marijuana arrests are for possession only.
Souder, who created the Aid Elimination Penalty in 1998, seeks to keep the law unchanged with his amendment, which would deny aid to any college student convicted of a drug crime – even first-time marijuana possession.
Students for Sensible Drug Policy generated thousands of calls to Capitol Hill yesterday and this morning after sending out an Action Alert.
If you think this law should be reformed or left unchanged, take action today. You can email your Congressional reps about any issue you like through a page on the HeadCount website or call your representative directly. Check out this little video from SDSP (starring me!) explaining how easy it is to do.
(Editor’s Note: The HeadCount organization does not support or oppose this legislation, nor does it have a stance on drug policy. Our mantra is “Make Your Voice Heard” and we are proud to give Jon and the rest of our bloggers a platform through this forum).