Crack Cocaine Vs. Powdered Cocaine Disparities Still Exist

Posted 46 months ago|8 comments|1,826 views
Crack and Powder Cocaine
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Congress has been urged for years to end sentencing disparities in the courts between crack versus powdered cocaine. Our prisons are full of people with drug offenses but African Americans who tend to use crack cocaine get much harsher sentences in the courts.

Only five grams of crack (5 packets of sugar) carries the same sentencing as half a kilo of powder cocaine (500 packets of sugar). The climate in this country is changing because many citizens now view these disparities unjust. It is mainly because it is the same exact drug; it is just manufactured in a different way. There are African Americans serving over 20 years for five grams of crack and their white counterparts are getting 5 years for 500 grams of powdered cocaine.

The Obama administration is calling for the sentencing disparities to end. The President also wants each drug offender to enter a drug treatment and rehabilitation program before they are released back into society.

The general attitude among prosecutors has changed towards crack cocaine versus powder cocaine offenses. Judges are expected to use their own discretion in sentencing guidelines until the laws are changed. More than likely the sentencing for powder cocaine will be longer.

The Cypress Gang
The Cypress Gang
46 months ago: Are you referring the the 1984 Sentencing Reform Act or the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act?
46 months ago: The 2010 Fair Sentencing Act doesn't apply retroactively to the thousands of men and women in prison who've already suffered from the imbalanced sentencing for non-violent drug possession.
The Cypress Gang
The Cypress Gang
46 months ago: I hope your not advocating retroactive sentencing. What do you thing the percentage of those "convictions" were a result of a plea bargin? Do those that entered into a plea bargin (probably on a lesser charge) also deserve retroactive sentencing?
The Cypress Gang
The Cypress Gang
46 months ago: How about around 85 percent of those "convictions" were plea bargains.

85% to get less time or lesser charges. That includes defendants with a private lawyer or a public defender. So don't try that I can't afford an attorney excuse.
The Cypress Gang
The Cypress Gang
46 months ago: Could those folks that are serving 20 years be "repeat offenders"? Do you think it is out of bounds to punish anyone that is a "repeat offender" with a longer sentence? Would you call a person in possesion of 5 grams of crack a recreational user? The new law bumped that up to 28 grams. How can you possibly think that possesion of 28 grams of crack is anything else but drug trafficking? These people are infecting the same community your are saying is being discriminated against.

Forget race and let's see if females are treated differently. Why don't you break down the stats by gender for us.
46 months ago: A 5 gram a day habit is done easy. Having 28 grams is NOT AT ALL impossible for personal use. The ONLY reason you cannot wrap your mind around that much weight for one person or personal use is because you've never been there. It IS hard to imagine, but it really IS easy to do.

Why do you think people shop at Costco? Discount in bulk. That applies across the board. Someone who can afford to get an ounce or so of cocaine and rock it up is not always a drug dealer OR a drug trafficker. They're saving money.

You can NEVER forget race. Unless you're white...
Females ARE treated differently.

Crack WAS powder before it was rocked up, a process that takes very little time. This change in sentencing should be retroactive.

Crack was made a harder penalty because the GOV did not know what else to do when it hit the scene and exploded addictions. Buying a $5 rock can get you YEARS in prison, but the $5 rock was not made out of $5 worth of cocaine. The law is wrong. The gov tried harsher punishments resulting in a huge influx of addicts in prison, getting no help. Jail an addict with a murderer and what do you think it does to the addict? Come on.

"The President also wants each drug offender to enter a drug treatment and rehabilitation program before they are released back into society."

Yes, THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA. Finally, someone with sense. Cocaine is THE hardest thing to kick because it has THE strongest trigger recall of ALL of the drugs. Not will power, neurological changes--it's biology.

Plea bargains have nothing to do with it. The police apply every charge in the book to make people scared and so one charge sticks. The whole system is set up as fear. Almost ALL criminal cases are reduced to plea bargains. You have NO point w/that.

Can't tell me if YOU accidentally got in a car wreck where someone died and YOU are charged with vehicular manslaughter that you would not consider taking a reckless driving plea...
The Cypress Gang
The Cypress Gang
46 months ago: OK... I'll bite. but before I do you need to lay off the...

"You can NEVER forget race. Unless you're white..."

That is totally stupid...and seemingly coming from a black racist...

How much in dollars is the street value of 5 grams of crack?

How much in dollars is the street value of 28 grams of crack?

I hear 5 grams is worth just under 1,000 dollars. That would make 28 grams value just under 6,000 dollars.

PER DAY? Yeah. a cost of 365 Thousand to 2.190 Million per year.

Yeah I think that is high also so lets use a lower number...

A half a gram cost 50 bucks...

1 gram would be 100 bucks...

5 grams would be 500 bucks...

Per day...

500 bucks times 365 days per year?

Does that cost just for crack not work out to around 182.5 thousand dollars per year? You know how many people with that kind disposable income?

28 grams per day works out to 1.545 Million per year at the lower cost.

Makes you wonder where they get the money huh?
46 months ago: My comment wasn't a hook. The race bit was sarcastic, so I apologize for that part of it except, it's also true. It's usually white people that suggest race doesn't matter. Race always matters. It just does.

White privilege exists in ways that white people don't understand. I don't think a person of color would say "let's forget about race..." especially in a discussion where racial inequality is at the heart of the topic. That and class.

I wont "lay off" it because it's important. And, I'm not a black racist.

Regarding cocaine costs:

A gram is not $100. Someone w/$100 ought to buy an 1/8 or 1/4 of an OZ. I'd say that folks buying grams are usually not street educated, college kids, and recreational users. Addicts want more dope for less money. Why buy 1 gram for $100 when you can get 3.5 grams for less?

I said 28 grams is not implausible for personal use. I did NOT say that a person would do that much every day. However, it is possible to do a quarter ounce (7 grams) daily, esp if you are in late stage and add it to heroin (speed balls), yes, making the cost all that more expensive.

You're looking at this too rigidly when it's something fluid. Most addicts wax and wan in their use, having peaks, lows, times they try quitting, etc. It does happen all the time that someone blows through their entire savings, car, personal belongings, etc., on a ____ long binge.

One thing that treatment centers do is have people calculate the amount of money that they spent on drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc. Most come up with unfathomable numbers that break their hearts. Usually they are doing the math of their life, sitting in a huge ball of shame, grief, and sickness.

While I don't know if you care, addicts are ill people. The entire legal and MEDICAL system needs revamping; the world would change. Neurobiology is uncovering genetic and biological factors that I hope will cure addiction in my lifetime.

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