End Racially Biased Drug Laws

Momentum to correct a terrible injustice from the Reagan years is building in the U.S. Senate. You can help eliminate a racially biased abuse of our criminal justice system that has been devastating communities across the country for 20 years.

While it takes just five grams of crack cocaine -- about two sugar packets worth -- to receive a five-year mandatory-minimum federal prison sentence, it would take 500 grams of powder cocaine to receive the same sentence. Not only does this disparity create enormous racial inequities in the federal criminal justice system because people of color are disproportionately convicted of crack cocaine offenses, it gives federal law enforcement agencies the incentive to waste taxpayer resources on low-level, nonviolent offenders (generally individuals struggling with addiction) instead of disrupting organized crime.

There is a bill pending right now in the U.S. Senate that would eliminate the crack/powder sentencing disparity, increase funding for drug treatment, and focus federal law enforcement resources on major traffickers instead of simple drug law violators. This bill is called the Drug Sentencing Reform and Cocaine Kingpin Trafficking Act (S. 1711).

Sign the petition today to urge your senators to support S. 1711 to end the sentencing disparity.

Dear Senator,

I am writing to urge you to support S. 1711, The Drug Sentencing Reform and Cocaine Kingpin Trafficking Act.

While it takes just five grams of crack cocaine (about two sugar packets worth) to receive a five-year mandatory minimum federal sentence, it
takes 500 grams of powder cocaine to receive the same sentence. 50 grams of crack cocaine triggers a ten-year sentence, but it takes 5,000 grams of powder cocaine - 5 kilos - to receive that much jail time.

Even though 66% of crack users are white, blacks make up more than 80% of federal defendants sentenced for crack cocaine offenses. No other federal law is more responsible for gross racial disparities in the federal criminal justice system.

And although the crack mandatory minimums were enacted to punish major traffickers, the vast majority of people subjected to them are low-level offenders. A recent report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found that almost 70% of federal crack cocaine defendants had only low-level involvement in drug activity.
The Drug Sentencing Reform and Cocaine Kingpin Trafficking Act would eliminate the crack/powder sentencing disparity, increase funding for drug treatment, and focus federal law enforcement resources on major traffickers instead of low-level, nonviolent drug law offenders.

[Your comment]

I urge you to support S. 1711, The Drug Sentencing Reform and Cocaine Kingpin Trafficking Act. Thank you for your time.

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