Higher Education: Pot Smokers Can Get Federal Aid Again
There's a bill in the House that would let kids with drug possession convictions get federal financial aid for college again (they haven't been able to since 1998). McClatchy has the story:The bill, which a House of Representatives committee approved recently and which the full House probably will consider after its August recess, says that those convicted of selling illegal drugs still would be barred from receiving federal financial aid. However, students convicted of possession would be able to get loans, grants and work-study assistance. This is great news. Even if you think there's something wrong with giving college loans to kids who've smoked pot (or, to be exact, kids who've been convicted of possessing it), this law is totally unfair in practice. Minorities and kids from rough neighborhoods end up getting hassled by the police way more frequently, so they're just statistically more likely to get in trouble for having a little reefer than a middle-class white kid, even if they don't actually smoke pot as much.The provision is part of this new Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which looks like a great little bundle of college loan-related laws. It increases aid in a number of different ways and still ends up saving $87 billion over ten years by administering loans through the government rather than through the banks.