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Rand Paul Files Crack Sentencing Reform Bill

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #845)
Politics & Advocacy

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) last Thursday filed Senate Bill 2657 the RESET (Reclassification to Ensure Smarter and Equal Treatment) Act to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. The potential 2016 GOP presidential contender unveiled the bill publicly the following day as he pitched his criminal justice reforms before an African-American audience at the National Urban League.

Rand Paul (
The bill would also reclassify some low-level federal drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. And it seeks to address the issue of drug weights in food items by clarifying that only the weight of the drug itself -- not the weight of the food containing it -- can be used in charging decisions, thus resulting in lesser charges for defendants.

As of early Tuesday morning, the text of the bill is not yet up on the congressional web site, but can be viewed here.

The 2010 Fair Sentencing Act reduced the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity from 100:1 to 18:1, but this bill would totally equalize the penalties by removing the sentencing enhancements for crack.

It's been a busy month for Paul when it comes to criminal justice matters. In addition to the RESET Act, he has also introduced an asset forfeiture reform bill and a medical marijuana amendment explicitly allowing states to set their own laws. And he also cosponsored, along with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), another sentencing reform bill.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


kickback (not verified)

The " old " Republicans are scared to death about Rand Paul . The " drug war " is not favored by Rand Paul . Minority outreach in action . The rolling back of the racists " drug war " is not something the "old " Republicans like . They are from another time . Pie to the face .

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 4:51am Permalink
Mark Mitcham (not verified)

In reply to by kickback (not verified)

Right on! And, Way to go Rand Paul!  This should light a fire under the Democrats asses, too.  How are they going to let a Republican make a better appeal for social justice, one that resonates with the people?  Rand Paul is making both parties look like Republicans.  The  prohibitionists appear to be running out of friends in high places.  Paul has laid down the gauntlet.  He is now the metric by which other candidates will be measured with regard to Drug War Issues.  Come on Democrats, don't make me vote Republican for the first time in my life!!!!!!

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 12:53pm Permalink

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