Crack Cocaine vs. Powder Essay

Pages: 3 (896 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs

Crack Cocaine vs. Powder Cocaine

The sentencing disparity regarding crack cocaine vs. powder cocaine has been a topic for debate for several years. The War on Drugs has led to lengthier drug sentences and an evolution of drug enforcement tactics that have had a disproportionate impact on American minorities, especially African-American males. According to Henderson (2009), President and CEO of Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, between 1985 and 1995 the number of black drug offenders in prison increased by 700%. This paper will explore the current crack cocaine policy vs. powder cocaine policy, and the disparities that affect African-American males. Lastly, what efforts are being made to reform the current policy will be discussed.

Crack Cocaine vs. Powder Cocaine

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The sentencing disparity regarding crack cocaine vs. powder cocaine has been a topic for debate for several years. The War on Drugs has led to lengthier drug sentences and an evolution of drug enforcement tactics that have had a disproportionate impact on American minorities, especially African-American males. According to Henderson (2009), President and CEO of Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, between 1985 and 1995 the number of black drug offenders in prison increased by 700%. This paper will explore the current crack cocaine policy vs. powder cocaine policy, and the disparities that affect African-American males. Lastly, what efforts are being made to reform the current policy will be discussed.

Crack Cocaine vs. Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparities:

TOPIC: Essay on Crack Cocaine vs. Powder Cocaine Assignment

Despite both being illicit drugs, there are significant differences in federal sentencing guidelines for drug offenses which involve crack or powder cocaine. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 is the primary starting point of these discrepancies, requiring different threshold quantities to impose mandatory minimum prison sentences, for dealers of crack and powder cocaine. For those convicted of selling crack cocaine, selling five grams imposes a mandatory five-year federal prison sentence. A ten-year mandatory prison sentence is imposed if an individual is convicted of selling 50 grams or more of crack. In contrast, convicted powder cocaine sellers only incur the mandatory five-year federal prison sentence when convicted for selling 500 grams of powder cocaine. The ten-year mandatory sentence isn't imposed unless the individual is convicted of selling 5,000 grams of powder cocaine as well. Both with thresholds 100 times greater than the crack cocaine thresholds (Henderson, 2009). To further worsen matters, there is no proof that crack cocaine is more dangerous than its powdered counterpart.

There is no pharmacological or scientific evidence that justifies treating crack cocaine more dangerous than powder, according to Henderson (2009). Rates for both crack and powder cocaine use are similar and both have remained stable for more than a decade. The idea that violent crime is associated crack… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Crack Cocaine vs. Powder.  (2009, May 19).  Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/crack-cocaine-powder/4691975

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"Crack Cocaine vs. Powder."  Essaytown.com.  May 19, 2009.  Accessed November 28, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/crack-cocaine-powder/4691975.