Self-interest likely behind drug disparity bill
The Kansas City Star
It’s great that the Missouri House on Thursday endorsed legislation that would reduce the disparity in sentencing for people convicted on crack vs. powder cocaine charges.
The existing laws are a hangover from the failed war-on-drug days, dating back to the Reagan administration when crack menaced American cities. Minorities were disproportionately and negatively affected by those laws because they were the ones more likely to get arrested using the poor person’s version of cocaine.
The new bill change would help equalize things. People currently convicted of producing and possessing more than 2 grams of crack face the same sentences as persons with more than 150 grams of cocaine.
The new bill would boost the making or possessing of crack to more than 28 grams before they can be charged with the crime of drug trafficking.
But just as crack offenses have caused more African Americans to go to prison, meth now is doing the same to white offenders, recent studies show. Look for liberalized laws on meth to hit a legislature in your area soon.