Pubdate: Thu, 27 Dec 2007
Source: Taos News, The (NM)
Copyright: The Taos News 2007
Author: Mike Jones


A long overdue change in federal sentencing guidelines has finally 
and recently been made. For too long there has been a huge disparity 
between the sentences for powdered cocaine, aka "the white man's 
drug," and crack cocaine, aka "the black man's drug."

The difference in federal sentences was so large that it became 
common practice in Florida for the federal prosecutor to adopt cases 
made by local agencies under Florida statutes in order for the 
offender to receive sentences of at least 15 years as opposed to the 
five or so under state statutes in the mid-1980s.

Such a practice was obviously racist in nature although it was widely 
proclaimed that it was a "new tool" in the war on drugs. Similar in 
nature to a sledge hammer but the only success achieved was increased 
revenues for the prison industry.

Did drugs become harder to buy, more costly, or less potent?

No, just the opposite occurred and our government continued to wage 
war on citizens of our country. Some may think this move too little 
too late, but I think it is a move, albeit long past due, in the 
right direction.

But the right move in the right direction is legalization of all 
drugs with control and distribution mechanisms, and taxation to 
provide for treatment and use prevention programs.

Mike Jones

Ranchos de Taos 
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