To trigger a 5-year mandatory minimum federal sentence, it takes 500 grams (1.1 lbs) of powder cocaine but only 28 grams (0.06 lbs) of crack cocaine
This policy purposefully targets low-income, Black and Brown Americans — and it must be changed.
Did you know that in America, one form of cocaine can land you behind bars for years, while the other form could get you a slap on the wrist. Crack cocaine and powder cocaine are two forms of the same drug, yet penalties for the possession of crack are 18 times longer than those for people caught with the drug in its powder form. The disparity is unjust, nonsensical, and racist, and it must end.
That’s why Dream Corps JUSTICE and our allies are working together to end this sentencing gap by supporting the “Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law” (EQUAL) Act. The EQUAL Act would create 1:1 penalties for crack and powder cocaine, bringing thousands home from prison and shortening future sentences.
Recently, the House of Representatives passed the EQUAL Act with overwhelming bipartisan support, including 143 Republicans and all 216 Democrats. And already, 11 Republican Senators have signed on as cosponsors. That means we just need the Senate to schedule a vote — and it’s going to take all of us to make it happen.
There is simply no scientific justification for such a disparity, but there is a political one. During the height of the War on Drugs, politicians and the media labeled crack as a “Black” drug. It was a problem that plagued the “inner city.” Meanwhile, powder cocaine was seen as a drug for the white and wealthy. The injustice of the sentencing gap is clear, but it’s stuck around for decades and has ruined hundreds of thousands of lives.
Help end this unfair sentencing discrepancy. Sign in support of the Equal Act.