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April 2005
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Souder gets some love at home

An article in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (Representative Mark Souder’s hometown paper) takes the drug warrior to task:

Over the past six years, most major education, addiction recovery, civil rights and student organizations have said that Souder’s law is a bad idea. Some of the more than 180 organizations that have risen in opposition to Souder’s HEA drug provision are the National Education Association, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the Association for Addiction Professionals, the NAACP and the United States Student Association.

In response to this growing outrage, Souder has backtracked, saying that his own law should be scaled back and calling its current enforcement “Draconian.” He claims he meant for the law to apply only to students who get convicted while they’re attending college, but that the Department of Education is misinterpreting the law by also denying aid to students with convictions in the past.

But blaming his own mistakes on others doesn’t help the victims of his fundamentally flawed law. …

Souder has been talking about changing his law for several years but hasn’t done anything to make it happen. This shows that while he’s more than happy to talk the talk, he doesn’t care enough about the victims of his law to truly walk the walk. …

It’s time for Rep. Souder to come clean and admit that writing the HEA drug provision was a horrible mistake. His new proposal is simply a diversion meant to fool voters into thinking he cares about students. Thousands of young people like me continue to be unnecessarily hurt by Souder’s wrongheaded law every year, and his new proposal won’t help many of them.

Thanks to the always helpful Tom Angell and Students for a Sensible Drug Policy. This organization, with chapters all over the country, has been doing incredible work in raising awareness of the horrible HEA financial aid provision. With their work, and the support they’ve generated in Congress, the act may finally be repealed.
If you haven’t yet raised your voice about the HEA drug act, do so now.

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