The Drug War as a Military Recruitment Tool

While those with drug convictions are not able to get federal financial aid for college, the military is increasingly happy to welcome them into its ranks.

The elimination of student aid for drug offenders is unwise, unfair and as*-backwards. You can add your voice here.

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    First DrugWarriors marginalized you... (none / 0) (#1)
    by SeeEmDee on Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 01:15:17 PM EST
    ...by taking away your right to vote with a felony drug conviction. Which usually also leads to chronic unemployment due to most employers being leery of hiring a convicted felon. Next, they make it nearly impossible to acquire an education that will lift you out of a 7-dollar-an-hour job by denying you a school loan for that drug conviction...a problem convicted murderers don't face. Now they are 'welcoming' such deliberately, institutionally marginalized people into the ranks of the military?

    Step by step, a shutting-off of avenues of escape from poverty and further crime, making recidivism more probable. And now we have a war that is increasingly less popular by the day, and the military cannot get its hands on the quality of recruits it wants, save by drafting. Which won't happen anytime soon. It would seem that there's no place left to go for the marginalized but a potential meatgrinder. Which looks like an awful lot like a form of Social Darwinism by proxy. So...does anyone else get the impression after reading this of a cattle chute leading to a slaughterhouse?

    You can join the.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 01:20:10 PM EST
    Air Force, you can join the Corp...if you can't get a loan to get you past the schoolhouse door.

    (Hat tip to James McMurtry)

    very misleading (none / 0) (#3)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 01:40:26 PM EST

    So that any prospective students out there are not misled and discouraged from applying for aid for which you are eligible you should know that not only does a drug conviction not necessarily disqualify you, but that most people with convictions for possession are or can easily become eligible.

    this is a workshhet you can use to see if you are eligible. If you have only a conviction for possession you are almost certainly eligible even if the conviction came during a period in which you were receiving aid. Even if you have a more serious conviction or more than one  you may still be eligible or be able to establish eligibility through completion of an approved rehab program-- often available at no cost to you.

      i know you are trying to make a point, but you should be more careful as some people might read what you write and not bother to look into the matter because you make them think it is pointless.

    here is the linl (none / 0) (#5)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 01:41:46 PM EST
    nope kdog, you can't (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 01:41:11 PM EST
    join the air force, or the navy for that matter, only the army & marines.

    i believe these are what's technically known as "mercenaries", soldiers for hire, regardless of the "cause". they do it strictly for the money.

    this is what started the roman empire on it's downward spiral.

    You get two choices (none / 0) (#6)
    by scarshapedstar on Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 01:52:47 PM EST
    Join the army, or make their equipment as a slave laborer in a private prison.

    Peance and freance, baby.

    Eligibility must be a problem (none / 0) (#7)
    by windy city atty on Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 02:33:05 PM EST
    According to the group Students for Sensible Drug Policy, (think NORML on a college level and not devoted specifically or only to cannabis) there are hundreds of thousands (200,000 at least) of potential students who have been denied federal student aid when answering yes to the FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) question regarding drug convictions.


    Whether or not these kids are denied all financial aid is another matter, but for most kids of average means, federal stafford loans and the like are a necessity because private lenders wont give ** to some 19 yr old kid with limited job history and no credit. (and no, parents wont always co-sign a loan for the kids, or the parents credit is just as bad, which is not something which should be attributed negatively to the kid) Throw in the ever rising cost of college tution and the correspondingly higher amount of loan $ sought on the loan application and well, the whole situation is ridiculous, unnecessary and likely contributes to the overall crime rate.  It seems to me that people who can't get a job, can't get an education, are unhappy and broke may think crime does have something to offer.
    On the bright side, the prosecutors and cops have perpetually stupid criminals who do things like give statements, sign consent forms, allow cops into their home, and generally dont know their own rights or are easily persuaded to "waive" them by the more educated personnnel of the local, state or federal government. Perhaps deconstructionist can deconstruct that :)

    (no offense meant - just making a point)      

    well then (none / 0) (#8)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 02:37:04 PM EST
     THEY SHOULD READ THE FREAKING RULES  and learn you don't have to answer "yes" unless you meet all the criteria and not just merely because they may have at one point been convicted of a drug offense.

     Moreover, I don't believe for a second that hundreds of thousands have applied and been denied been denied.


    The point is being missed, here (none / 0) (#9)
    by SeeEmDee on Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 03:14:36 PM EST
    This rank idiocy of denying potential students government loans thanks to drug offense convictions - and thus ensuring that they would be trapped in that job bracket I mentioned - was fostered by Congressman Mark Souder, had only one purpose: punish, punish, PUNISH those who 'sinned' by engaging in illicit drug usage and were caught. (When you consider Souder's, uh, er, intensive religious beliefs, perhaps this emphasis on punishment is understandable.)

    When this proved to be injurious to the very people who needed it the most, Souder moued and said that he didn't really intend this vicious piece of legislation to be so deleterious to those he frankly wanted to harm (yeah, right)  and relented a tiny, tiny bit in his and the other DrugWarrior's vindictiveness by amending the legislation to allow for that infinitessimally small loophole Deconstructionist is mentioning. It is only meant to slightly reduce the sting from being beaten with the DrugWarrior 'rod', not remove it. It just makes the chains feel a little less heavy, that's all.

    That this was meant to be social engineering, the kind that so-called 'conservatives' accuse 'liberals' of, is blatantly obvious. That it is causing hardship to people who have already paid their debt to society is equally obvious.  That some of those people are winding up in the military because other access to means of bettering themselves have been systematically shut-off is another example of that Social Darwinism I mentioned at work; cull the 'useless eaters' from the welfare rolls by sending them in harm's way.

    Prevention (none / 0) (#10)
    by andreea on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 04:22:24 AM EST
    School not prisons.. nice combination. In my opinion I'd recommend all of those in need, an addiction treatment and then preventing! It's easier than fixing.