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Foster Introduces Legislation to Give Students a Second Chance

Jul 26, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) introduced legislation to amend the penalties students face when convicted of minor marijuana offenses. Under current law, a student convicted of possession of marijuana could lose their federal student aid for an extended period of time. The Second Chance for Students Act would allow students convicted of marijuana possession to retain financial aid eligibility for six months while they complete an approved drug rehabilitation program. The legislation is cosponsored by Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI), Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA), Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA), and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).

“One mistake shouldn’t mean the end of a student’s education,” Foster said. “For many students, financial aid can mean the difference between staying in school and dropping out. This legislation would ensure that students stay in school while they complete the required rehabilitation program. No student should have their future determined by one bad choice.”

“Currently, students who are convicted of possessing marijuana risk losing their federal aid, no matter the quantity,” Congresswoman Moore said. “Losing financial aid can be devastating and often determines whether one can remain in school. This policy harms students of color, who are often targeted for low-level offenses like marijuana possession. It’s why I am thrilled to support this bill because a marijuana conviction shouldn’t jeopardize a students’ future or access to educational opportunity.”

A copy of the legislation is available here.

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