Editor, Daily Nexus:

Drug War ambulance-chasers, like Indiana Congressman Mark Souder, love a good war. They are veterans of many battles in the ongoing War on Drugs. There was the War on Drug Users via mandatory minimums, the War on Property Rights thanks to their forfeiture laws, the War on Privacy and the demise of the Fourth Amendment, the War on Urine, even the War on Adam Smith in the never-ending supply interdiction efforts. But none of it was ever as ill-conceived as the War on College Loans.

Question 35 on the FAFSA form, Souder’s brainchild, asks students to identify whether they have been convicted of selling or possessing illegal drugs. A conviction for possession deprives you of financial aid for a year, while one for selling loses you two. Congressman Souder (R-Indiana) says that this sends a message.

The message is clear, all right, but perhaps not what he intended:
* Money buys you access and justice.
* It’s better to drink and drive than toke in your home.
* Honest people are gullible.
* Society needs more recovering drug addicts with nowhere to go.
* College is no place to turn your life around.

Time and time again, the public has learned that continued punishment and scapegoating of drug users (only the illicit ones, of course) does not stop drug abuse. Access to treatment and prevention does. If only our supposed “leaders” could figure this out!