Breaking: House Subcommittee Votes to Reduce Crack Cocaine Penalties to Powder Cocaine Level

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), H.R. 3245
lead sponsor and long-time champion
for criminal justice reformThe House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security this afternoon unanimously approved H.R. 3245, the "Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009." According to Families Against Mandatory Minimums:
The bill would remove references to "cocaine base" from the US Code, effectively treating all cocaine, including crack, the same for sentencing purposes. Original cosponsors of the bill include all Democratic members of the subcommittee and the sponsors of all other Democratic bills that address the cocaine sentencing disparity.
Click here for the full press release. Exciting times -- as I noted a few minutes ago when writing about another good vote that took place in Congress yesterday, eliminating the loss of financial aid penalty that exists for students convicted of drug possession. That one was part of a larger, high-priority bill that that committee is now sending to the full House of Representatives. Whether this standalone bill, coming out of a subcommittee, will get to that level is less certain. However, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, John Conyers (D-MI), is an ardent supporter, and the bill passed the subcommittee unanimously, meaning the Republicans on the subcommittee must have voted for it too. (The roll call isn't online yet.) So it is very encouraging nonetheless.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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crack cocaine

Why was cocaine base referred to as crack in the first place?I can remember friends using a test tube to make base in the early 70's.It just reverses the process that converts cocaine base to cocaine.When I first heard about crack cocaine I thought there was some kind of process by which the drug was made more powerful through some additives that increased it's addictive nature.Of course we had already switched to the needle so I could never understand the attraction.I had friends that had traveled throughout south America and smoked base before the conversion process took place.When we first heard about crack we thought it was some kind of super drug.I even tried shooting some in vinegar to reverse the process once again.Big disappointment.I heard it was because of the noise it made when the heat hit the pipe?They sent people to prison for 10X the sentence for that?Now I hear we have the CIA to credit for the popularity of the drug.Nice the government is taking back what they created in the first place.For me,cocaine is a real problem only till I quit.I have never experienced any withdrawal symptoms but the grip of the drug once you start using is like nothing else on earth.It still amazes me that people can go into rehab and want to do it again once they get out.Once you get past the first few highs it's just a long chase after an unattainable high.I guess most drug abuse is like that.For anyone trapped on the end of a pipe,there is life after cocaine.

I want to congratulate...

these guys on now giving people 5 years in prison if they have the balls to produce 100 grams of a non-government approved substance.

Thank God for government!! I don't know how we could possible compensate the victims of the crack deals out there without you!

Don't end the drug war!! Peace might break out.

Know the facts

Please know the facts before you consider having a bias opinion on a subject you obviously know nothing about. The disparity in crack sentencing is a horrible injustice that has hovered over our nation for decades.Check the facts then your grammar!

I was being...

sarcastic.

Also, there's nothing wrong with any of the grammar in that post.

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