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Jul 19, 2005 2:05 am

Support the Andrews Amendment

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from NORML concerning the Andrews Amendment to H.R. 609, the College Access and Opportunity Act of 2005. This amendment would end the ban on financial aid to students with drug convictions. This ban on aid is rotten to the core and was enacted even though it affects only people of moderate means, drug use and an education yet another privilege for the rich. It also stinks because when sociologists looked at grade point averages in the late 1960s they found that the marijuana smokers had higher GPAs then the non-smokers. The government makes it harder for marijuana users to get an education, then how long do you think it will be before the government puts out a study saying marijuana smokers are less educated.

The communication contained a link for contacting my congressman and as faithful readers of this column know I usually include my own beginning to these pre-written e-mails, which I have posted below.

Dear Congressman Wynn

So far, you have been very good on issues concerning the war on people who use certain kinds of drugs and even though I am a Libertarian I am seriously considering voting for you in the next election. However, if you cannot see how this ugly ban on financial aid for students with drug convictions is a punishment solely reserved for people of limited means and therefore unfair and un-American then I will not be able to support you.

On the other hand, if you could recognize how this war on ourselves is costing enormous amounts of resources better used elsewhere; if you could understand the immorality of punishing vices as though they were crimes; if you could know that the war on people who use certain kinds of drugs is the most racist institution that we have in American society today; if you could realize that there are dozens of reasons, tens of thousands of stories, and a mountain of empirical data which testify to the vast harm done by drug prohibition then maybe you could stand up with me and ever growing number of people who agree with me, saying loudly this evil policy must change!

If you could do that then I would proudly pull the lever for you because you would be one of the very few congressmen doing their job, representing the people instead of the bureaucracy.

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