Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Rape a Child, Receive a Government Grant

But smoke medical marijuana, and lose your federal student aid. Don't buy it? Ask the Washington Post.

"The American public is tired of subsidizing people who break the law," said Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Indiana), who originally wrote the provision of the Higher Education Act of 1998, which denies federal student aid to those convicted of using drugs illegally. "They shouldn't have to pay for spoiled kids doing drug crimes." Of course this includes medical marijuana patients, even those using cannabis legally according to their state laws (after all, the Supremes have claimed federal supremacy over the cannabis plant, and I don't mean Diana Ross).

Note that Souder makes no mention of student aid being spent on Playboy mags, cigarettes, and kegs of ale for frat-bashes. But more importantly, he says nothing about tax dollars spent to purchase rope, duct tape, kiddie porn and butcher knives for thieves, pedophiles, rapists, murderers, and terrorists. Federal law does not currently disqualify any of those criminals from receiving Pell Grants, only those convicted of drug crimes.

Do these legislators expect the public to swallow the idea that medical marijuana patients and illicit drug users in general are a higher (no pun intended) priority than violent predators?

Once upon a time, there were two struggling college students (let's call them Dick and Jane, just for fun) living in the same apartment complex. Jane suffered from debilitating Cerebral Palsy, and was unable to prevent Dick from raping her, but when Jane reported the assault, police smelled the pungent odor of exogenous cannabinoids (aka marijuana smoke) floating in the air of her apartment. Eventually, Dick was convicted of rape and Jane was convicted of possessing the marijuana she used to moderate her pain and spasms. Tricky Dick got a Pell Grant and lived happily ever after, while Mary Jane had to drop out of school to sit in the welfare lines. If only Jane was a "spoiled kid" with enough cash (hers or Daddy's) to afford college without assistance, she would have been able to take her licking and keep on ticking. Poor Jane!

I phoned up Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson's (R - Texas) educational assistant a few weeks ago, and asked him, "Do you think denying access to education is an effective way to deal with drug abuse?"

He said, "Um... No. No I don't. But I can't speak for the Senator."

So I said, "Well, could you speak to the Senator?"

As Eric Boucher (aka Jello Biafra) once said... "With liberty and justice for all - who can afford it."


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