Crack Cocaine Laws

  • Under current federal law, someone caught with five grams of crack cocaine gets a certain five-year sentence -- while someone would have to be in possession of 500 grams of the white, powdered cocaine to trigger the same mandatory prison time.
  • The proportion and number of inmates serving time for federal drug convictions has mushroomed since 1986, when Congress enacted a number of mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes -- including those involving crack cocaine.
  • H.R. 4026, the "Powder-Crack Cocaine Penalty Equalization Act of 2002" is a bill being considered in Congress that would change the current crack cocaine and powder cocaine ratios, created in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986.
  • The average crack cocaine sentence, 120 months, is greater than: the 103-month average sentence for robbery; the 76-month average sentence for arson; the 64-month average sentence for sexual abuse; and the 31-month average sentence for manslaughter. United States Sentencing Commission, 1999 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics.
  • Sentences for crack offenders are roughly two to six times as great as sentences for powder cocaine offenders distributing equivalent quantities of drugs. Testimony of the Honorable Deanell Reece Tacha, United States Sentencing Commission, before the House Subcommittee on Crime, June 29, 1995.
  • The average sentence for crack cocaine (ten years) is thirty-five percent longer than the average methamphetamine sentence and fifty-two percent longer than the average powder cocaine sentence. United States Sentencing Commission, 1999 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics 69.
  • While a majority of crack users in the United States are white, 94 percent of those sentenced under the incomparably severe penalties for crack cocaine are black or Hispanic. Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Justice on Trial: Racial Disparities in the American Criminal Justice System 30 (2000); United States Sentencing Commission, 1999 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics 69.
  • Amid widespread criticism directed at the severity and disparate impact of the crack sentencing regime, the Sentencing Commission has twice called for reduced crack penalties, noting A[t]he current penalty structure results in a perception of unfairness and inconsistency.@ United States Sentencing Commission, Special Report to Congress: Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy 8 (April 1997).
Your Brain On Cocaine
(AP) Chronic cocaine use harms brain circuits that help produce the sense of pleasure, which may help explain why cocaine addicts have a higher rate of depression, a study suggests. It's not clear whether cocaine kills brain cells or merely impairs them, or whether the effect is reversible, said study author Dr. Karley Little. But it's bad news for cocaine addicts in any case, he said.
Former cocaine kingpin now serves dogs, not drugs
MARKHAM, Ill. — Two decades after customers clamored to buy cocaine from a teenager named John Cappas, they're lined up again to buy what he has to sell: Hot dogs. The one-time "drug kingpin," as the newspapers called him in the late 1980s, this summer became an owner of a hot dog stand called Johnny's WeeNee Wagon.
Drug mule swallowed 106 cocaine packages
A man who swallowed 106 packages of cocaine to smuggle them into the UK was today starting a 10-year jail sentence. Alexsejs Malinovs, 23, from Eastern Avenue South, Northampton, was stopped by UK Border Agency officers at Heathrow Airport in May 2009 when he arrived on a flight from Peru via Amsterdam. Investigations found the Latvian national had swallowed about 700 grams of cocaine in 106 packages, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said today.
Tainted cocaine
Okay, let's just get it right out there up front - no one thinks doing crack or cocaine is good for you. Nope, no one. Not me, not even the people who use it. However, if a huge percentage of the cocaine/crack sold in this country is being adulterated with a potentially lethal addition, shouldn't people (including the doctors wondering what the heck is going on) be warned?
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