Crack Cocaine

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Congressional Staff Briefing (Senate): Reforming Crack Cocaine Sentencing

On May 15, the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) updated its 2002 Report to Congress on Federal Cocaine Sentencing. The USSC report once again finds that there is no rationale for the sentencing differences between the two forms of the drug. Under current law, possessing or selling 5 grams of crack cocaine results in the same five-year mandatory minimum sentence as selling 500 grams of powder cocaine. The law harshly punishes low-level offenders, and has had a disparate impact on African-American and low-income communities. Join us in a frank discussion on avenues for reform of this unjust law. Speakers to include: Lisa Rich, United States Sentencing Commission Hillary Shelton (Invited), NAACP, Washington Office Pat Nolan, Prison Fellowship Moderated by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project & Jesselyn McCurdy of the ACLU RSVP by May 18 to Vee Campbell ([email protected]) or call (202) 721-5649.
Date: 
Mon, 05/21/2007 - 2:00pm
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Congressional Staff Briefing (House): Reforming Crack Cocaine Sentencing

On May 15, the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) updated its 2002 Report to Congress on Federal Cocaine Sentencing. The USSC report once again finds that there is no rationale for the sentencing differences between the two forms of the drug. Under current law, possessing or selling 5 grams of crack cocaine results in the same five-year mandatory minimum sentence as selling 500 grams of powder cocaine. The law harshly punishes low-level offenders, and has had a disparate impact on African-American and low-income communities. Join us in a frank discussion on avenues for reform of this unjust law. Speakers to include: Lisa Rich, United States Sentencing Commission Hillary Shelton (Invited), NAACP, Washington Office Pat Nolan, Prison Fellowship Moderated by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project & Jesselyn McCurdy of the ACLU RSVP by May 18 to Vee Campbell ([email protected]) or call (202) 721-5649.
Date: 
Mon, 05/21/2007 - 9:00am
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

FedCURE News: Prospective and Retroactive Application of the New USSC Crack Cocaine Guideline Amendment

On 27 April 2007, the US Sentencing Commission (USSC) voted to approve an amendment of the crack cocaine guidelines to lower applicable sentence ranges. In its press release (http://www.ussc.gov/PRESS/rel0407.htm), the USSC announced that a forthcoming report "will set forth current data and information that continue to support the Commission's consistently held position that the 100-to-1 crack-powder drug quantity ratio significantly undermines various congressional objectives set forth in the Sentencing Reform Act and elsewhere." The report has not been published as of this date. FedCURE will post the report as soon as it becomes available. You can check the USSC site at: http://www.ussc.gov. Because of Booker and various retroactivity rules, it is uncertain as to how the crack amendment will impact present and past cases. Prospectively, the new guidelines could effect 4,000 to 5,000 federal sentencing cases every year. The USSC has authority to make amendments retroactive, albeit, rarely does. The USSC 27 April 2007 press release does not address the issue of retroactivity, and those currently incarcerated for crack offense--some 50,000 to 60,000 federal offenders--are anxious to know. Hopefully the much anticipated USSC report will answer this question and more. It is noted here that the USSC guideline amendment is only a proposal to Congress. The House and the Senate would have to enact specific bills to defeat the amendment. Congress will have six months to consider the amendment. However, the law states that if Congress takes no action before 01 November 2007, the amendment automatically takes effect on 01 November 2007. FedCURE P.O. Box 15667 Plantation, Florida 33318-5667 USA Web Site: http://www.FedCURE.org E-mail: [email protected]
Location: 
United States

Lawmaker seeks restrictions on baking soda to fight drugs

Location: 
St. Louis, MO
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)
URL: 
http://www.columbiatribune.com/2007/Apr/20070406News013.asp

Seeking Justice In The Drug War

Location: 
Washington, DC
United States
Publication/Source: 
TomPaine.com (DC)
URL: 
http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2007/03/12/seeking_justice_in_the_drug_war.php

Canada: Vancouver Mayor Pushes Stimulant Maintenance Plan

Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan, who wants to begin a groundbreaking plan to provide cocaine and methamphetamine users with prescription stimulants, has released the results of a poll he commissioned that showed strong support for the notion among Vancouver residents. The survey released last Friday showed that 61% of respondents would support such a program to deal with rampant drug abuse in the city's Downtown Eastside.

The mayor needs to win an exemption from Canada's drug laws from the federal government. Under Sullivan's plan, called CAST (Chronic Addiction Substitution Treatment), up to 700 chronic cocaine and meth users would be provided with maintenance doses of stimulants. The release of the poll results is designed to increase pressure on the federal government to approve the experimental program.

The poll also found that an even larger majority of Vancouver residents were skeptical of traditional abstinence-based drug treatment programs. According to the poll, 71% of respondents believed such programs actually worked for less than one-quarter of participants.

"The public appears to be aware that large numbers of addicted people will continue to be involved in crime and disorder as a result of long-term drug use," Sullivan said in a press release last Friday. "We know that many drug users do not respond, in the long term, to traditional abstinence-based treatment programs."

Op-Ed: A draconian double standard on drugs

Location: 
FL
United States
Publication/Source: 
Orlando Sentinel (FL)
URL: 
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/orl-chap1307feb13,0,4043638.story?coll=orl-opinion-headlines

Op-Ed: End draconian double-standard on cocaine use

Location: 
Chicago, IL
United States
Publication/Source: 
Baltimore Sun
URL: 
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.chapman05feb05,0,5744425.story?coll=bal-oped-headlines

Flash-bang burns drug raid suspect

Location: 
IN
United States
Publication/Source: 
Post-Tribune (IN)
URL: 
http://www.post-trib.com/news/226531,graidburn.article

Crack creeps into upscale drug market

Location: 
Canada
Publication/Source: 
Calgary Sun (Canada)
URL: 
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Alberta/2007/01/10/3276426-sun.html

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