The House Education & Labor Committee has approved a bill to repeal a federal law which made college students ineligible for financial aid due to drug convictions. It also clarifies a previous rolling back of the penalties passed in 2006. The reasoning of the committee is as follows:
Critics have argued that blocking people from being able to pursue a college degree is a counterproductive way to respond to substance use and misuse issues.
“The best possible intervention for a young person struggling in their relationship with drugs is a quality education,” Betty Aldworth, executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), said in an interview. “Evidence demonstrates that denying them access only harms the students and their communities.”