Source: Waco Tribune Herald/editorial staff
Pubdate: May 5, 1997
email: Crack and coke

Under current federal sentencing, it takes 100 times as much powder cocaine 
as crack to trigger the same penalty.  The U.S. Sentencing Commission is correct  
in recommending that the disparity be reduced.  The commission recommends a
5to1 ratio.

Federal judges have complained about the disparity in the sentences.

Simple possession of 5 grams of crack can bring at least five years in prison
under federal laws.  Simple possession of 5 grams of cocaine is a misdemeanor
punishable by no more than a year in prison.

Some have said that instead of lowering the penalties for crack to deal with    
the disparity, the penalty for cocaine possession should be increased. 
But society should think long and hard before finding more reason to fill more
federal cells with nonviolent offenders.

However the laws are structured, they should be aimed foremost at those who
profit from the sale of drugs.  Federal prisons should not bulge with casual users.

                           << End of Editorial >>