Harsh Marijuana Policies Harm Poor Students

by TChris

Our country's misplaced priorties are exemplified by the attention given to marijuana smokers.

Last year, 755,187 people were arrested for marijuana violations in America, according to an FBI report released Oct. 25. The number of annual marijuana arrests has doubled since 1993. This year’s total is the largest in history.

Nearly half of all drug arrests are for marijuana. Does this make the country safer?

The number of marijuana arrests exceeded the total number of arrests for all violent crimes combined, including murder, rape, manslaughter, robbery and aggravated assault. Of those charged with marijuana violations, 88 percent were charged with possession only.

The government's obsession with marijuana has a particularly harsh impact on students.

To date, more than 157,000 financial aid applicants have been ineligible for aid as a result of the Drug Provision [of the Higher Education Act], not including students who were deterred from applying for aid in the first place because of any drug convictions.

Of course, the effective denial of an education applies only to the poor and middle class students who need financial aid. Children of wealthy parents, who don't need financial aid, can smoke like a chimney without affecting their educational opportunities.

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