Crack Vs. Cocaine

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Crack and Cocaine Despite the similar effects between the two illegal drugs crack and powder cocaine, the two drug exhibits a huge difference in the sentencing policy. Powder cocaine is obtained and derived from the leaves of cocoa plants, whereas crack cocaine is created from powder cocaine by neutralizing it with baking soda and water. This forms a hard substance that looks much like a rock called crack. With an exemption that powder cocaine is snorted and crack is smoked, crack is basically cocaine. The most important difference between the two drugs is crack permits the user to a quick and very extreme high, while the powder cocaine allows the user to a slower and a weaker high. So why is there a huge difference in the penalty and sentencing policy associated with the possession of these two drugs? The reason why there is a difference in the consequence associated with the two drugs is because crack is more highly addictive and dangerous than powder cocaine. Since crack is more addictive and relatively less expensive compared to powder cocaine, a conviction of 5 grams of crack with the intention to distribute is penalized with a five years sentence. In contrast, a conviction for a five year sentence for powder cocaine with the intention to distribute is for 500 grams. The maximum number of years in sentencing for any drugs, including powder cocaine is 1 year. However, possession of 5 grams of crack receives an automatic 5 years in prison. It is also the only drug that carries a mandatory prison sentence for the first offense. (Crack Cocaine Sentencing Policy) Crack is the only drug that has a strict and harsh punishment. The difference is not justified because the two drugs are very similar in their effects, yet the 100:1 quantity ratio sentencing establishes a cruel penalty. Although most crack users are white and Hispanic, there is a vast predominance of
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