Campus Drug Busts Top 11,000

U.S. Education Department Says
Convicted Offenders Will Be Barred From Receiving Federal Student Aid

Washington, DC: Police made more than 11,000 drug arrests on college campuses in 2000, an increase of more than 10 percent from the previous year, according to newly released data from U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Drug violations far exceeded the total number of arrests for violent crimes – including aggravated assault, robbery and forcible sex offenses. Under a 1998 provision to the Higher Education Act (HEA), virtually all drug offenders will be ineligible to receive any future federal student aid. Other student criminal offenders face no such penalty.

The five college campuses that recorded the highest number of drug arrests were Pennsylvania State University at University Park, Michigan State University, Indiana University at Bloomington, University of California at Berkeley and the University of Iowa. The majority of these arrests were for marijuana, The Chronicle reported.

The arrest figures are based on data from 6,269 nonprofit and for-profit educational institutions. It is only the second year the federal government has compiled statistics on campus crime, as required under provisions of the 1998 Higher Education Act.

Federal legislation to amend the HEA provision barring aid to drug offenders is currently pending before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness. The bill, H.R. 786 sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), has 57 co-sponsors.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation, at (202) 483-8751. To learn more about legislation to amend the Higher Education Act of 1998, please visit NORML’s website at: http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=13523&type=CO.