In the News: Senate Passes Bill to Reduce Cocaine Sentencing

By Danielle Canada

A new bill approved by the Senate Wednesday will hopefully correct a large disparity in sentencing between powder and crack cocaine.

The Senate cleared the bill to correct the current 100:1 ratio between the two forms of the substance.
Currently, a person found guilty of crack cocaine possession gets the same mandatory jail time as someone with 100 times the same quantity of powder cocaine.

Furthermore while Blacks make up 30 percent of cocaine users, they comprise more than 80 percent of those convicted of federal crack offense because of the drug’s prevalence in the Black community.

Now with the new passing, the ratio has been reduced to 18:1.

While still not fair, and still not at the logical 1:1 ratio, the reduction is garnering praise.

The Drug Policy Alliance says that they’re happy with the reduction but the fight for racial equality is not over.

Jasmine L. Tyler spoke on behalf on the Drug Policy Alliance through a statement saying,

“Today is a bittersweet day. By not eliminating the disparity, the Senate has proven how difficult it is to ensure racial justice, even in 2010.”

Wow, an 18:1 ratio still seems unfair. What makes crack cocaine more punishable than its powder counterpart?

I don’t get it….

Courtesy of HipHopWired.com

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