1. As a result of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, Congress established different mandatory penalties for cocaine and crack cocaine, with significantly higher punishments for crack cocaine offenses. There is a 5-year minimum prison penalty for a first-time trafficking offense involving 5 grams or more of crack cocaine or 500 grams or more of powder cocaine (see top chart above) and a 10-year mandatory minimum penalty for a first-time trafficking offense involving 50 grams or more of crack cocaine or 5,000 grams or more of powder cocaine.
3. Historically, the majority of crack cocaine offenders are black; powder cocaine offenders are now predominantly Hispanic. In 2006, African-Americans accounted for 82 percent of crack cocaine-related arrests, while white and Hispanic offenders accounted for 72 percent of powder cocaine-related arrests (see bottom chart above).
1. Members of Congress might need some remedial math, especially on decimals? If 1 gram of powder cocaine = .89 grams of crack cocaine, why is the amount of crack cocaine for five years of jail time (5 grams) 100X less than for powder cocaine (500 grams)?
2. Nobel economist Milton Friedman once called the minimum wage "the most anti-black law on the books." For once I have to disagree with Milton, I think the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 is now the most anti-black law on the books. By far.