Congress' Message to the Nation's Youth: Do Your Drugs Before You Start College

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This week Congress approved legislation that will allow college students with drug offenses on their records to receive federal financial aid. Students who commit new offenses after they start school will still lose their aid. As I've said before, I'm no fan of government subsidies for college tuition, whether in the form of grants or in the form of cheap loans. But the change in policy represents modest progress of a sort, inasmuch as Congress irrationally and unfairly singled out drug offenders–but not murderers, rapists, or bank robbers–for this penalty. It is therefore a conspicuous example of the moral confusion that underlies the war on drugs, which routinely punishes possession of politically incorrect intoxicants more severely than predatory crime.

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  1. I thank the flying spaghetti monster that these anal-retentive morons in congress aren’t requiring clean urine for aid/loans. I am fairly certain illegal drug use is still an important part of the college experience.

  2. “Students who commit new offenses after they start school will still lose their aid.”

    I’ve never understood this law, beyond the idiocy of power-hungry idiots imposing their double-standard-morality on others. But the pragmatic results-oriented view of this has always blown my mind. While I surely understand the short-sighted “carrot & stick” strategy of threatening to take away finaid if you do certain things, the reality is that a great many of the kids on financial aid will be worse-off in life, and more likely to end up as addicts and non-producers, if they are forced to quit college due to lack of funding.

    While I share Sullum’s aversion to federal tuition subsidies, I do think that, if they’re going to give them away, it should at the very least be done with some sense.

    Yes, this is a small step forward…but leaving the “we’ll take it away if you get caught during college!” part in there just goes to show their bloody ineptitude when it comes to actual, real results. But, then, the WoD was never about reality.

  3. Clearly, the message is “Rape, don’t smoke.”

  4. Perhaps we should require members of Congress and candidates running for Congress to submit to periodic drug tests. Given the laws that they seem to pass these days they are probably all on crack.

  5. Congress’ Message to the Nation’s Youth: Do Your Drugs Before You Start College

    Damn! I missed my chance! 🙂

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