Yesterday I posted about Congressman Mark Souder’s critique of harm reduction as “an ideological position that assumes individuals cannot or will not make healthy decisions.” Rep. Souder, a Republican from Indiana, has a long history of promoting an anti-drugs, anti-drug user agenda and attacking policies and strategies that, in his opinion, promote drug use or fail to adequately punish drug users.
Rep. Souder has a powerful platform as Chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources. Rep. Souder was also named co-chair of House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s Task Force for a Drug Free America. His official website describes some of his positions on “illegal drugs”. A similar statement appears on his campaign website. The Media Awareness Project (MAP) has an index of newspaper articles related to drug policy that mention or quote Rep. Souder.
A correspondent writes:
I have another fun fact about Mark Souder. The congressman from Indiana sponsored the 1998 Drug Provision of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The provision denies students eligibility for federal financial aid for varying periods if they were convicted of any drug-related offense.
The consequences of the provision were so severe and widespread, even Rep. Souder backed off somewhat, claiming he never intended the provision to cover students with prior offenses. (Then he did what all good upstanding, right wing politicians do when their extremist policies go horribly awry: he blamed Bill Clinton.)
Here's an editorial from an Indiana newspaper, the Decatur Daily Democrat, questioning Souder's interpretation of Christian values.
Here's an article about Souder's "common sense fix" to the Clinton administration’s "draconian misinterpretation" of the amendment.
I don't mean to let the Clinton administration off the hook, but here's a copy of the provision, which seems to me so draconian, it doesn't leave room for "draconian misinterpretation".
If I may go a bit off-topic, here's a quote from Mark Souder regarding what he considers Dutch lack of a moral base and poor church going habits: "If they [in the Netherlands] want to have regulated free drugs and free prostitution and gambling and porn videos all over the place, that's their business, but when the Netherlands' internal policies start affecting the United States, that's another matter. I believe they are trying to do the right thing, but there is a huge difference in how we approach issues. We have a more moral base; they don't have a moral base. For example, less than 20 percent of the Dutch population attends church regularly."
Source: Radio Netherlands