Thursday, April 27, 2006

Well, duuh!

From the Dead Pelican, we get this story from the LSU Reville. It seems that students are being denied financial aid because of drug convictions. Well, duuh!
Thousands of Louisiana students have been denied federal financial aid because of drug convictions, according to statistics released by Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
Actually, it isn't a bad as it sounds. Most of the students are responsible enough to avoid a criminal record. We learn that;
Of the 1,333,912 Louisiana applicants, 2,890 students were denied aid. Louisiana had 0.22 percent of applicants denied, which is slightly lower than the national average of 0.25 percent.
Which isn't so bad, once you think about it.
Karen Malovrh, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws chapter coordinator, said NORML agrees with SSDP’s initiatives to change the Aid Elimination Penalty. “The numbers are really interesting because they show that there are many students out there who are losing out because they made a mistake,” Malovrh said.
Once again, we have someone equating criminal conduct with making a mistake. There is a difference. A big difference.

Here is the difference. Society, through our elected officials, imposes sanctions against certain types of behavior. From Congress down to the city council, laws and ordinances are passed that criminalize certain behavior.

There is a civics lesson involved here. If you don't like the law, work to change it. In the meantime, comply with it. If you don't comply with the law, then don't complain when society extracts sanctions. When you ignore the law, you risk becoming entangled in the criminal justice system as a defendant. You become a criminal.

As a cop, I see laws come and go all the time. What was criminal behavior ten years ago is now legal behavior in some circumstances. Why? Because the law was changed. If, for example, the Congress decided next week to decriminalize the possession of marijuana then I would scratch that law off my list. No problem, one less law for me to enforce, so I can spend more time protecting and serving the citizens.

1 comment:

jimWarmke said...

Do they really expect you to know what all the laws are? Seems like that would be too much to keep up with. What about laws that are never enforced? When I was a college kid (long ago) pot smokers just went outside, like ciggarette smokers do now. No one bothered them, not even cops.