a bird and a bottle


President Bush Supports Crack/Cocaine Sentencing Disparity
November 16, 2006, 8:08 pm
Filed under: law, news, politics, Uncategorized

This shit makes me crazy.

As I reported the other day, the U.S. Sentencing Commission is contemplating getting rid of the huge sentencing disparities for crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Implemented in the mid-1980s as part of the “War on Drugs,” these policies are not rational and have further no legitimate purpose. The sentencing policies, which punish crack 100 times as severely as powder cocaine, have disproportionately impacted African-American communities, where crack is concentrated, while sparing similar acts in white communities (where powder cocaine is more common). And there’s no scientific basis for this – crack is not any more harmful or dangerous than powder cocaine.

This unequal sentencing has been so harmful and so totally unproductive as a method of deterrence, that even the man who proposed them has now come out against them (free registration required to view link).

But not President Bush. Of course not. Although this sentencing scheme has been decried not only by those who belive that the “War on Drugs” was overly punitive but also by those who believe in mass criminalization of drug users, Bush doesn’t care. As Stephen Colbert so aptly put it in his performance at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Bush believes the same thing on Wednesday as he did on Monday no matter what happens Tuesday.prison

But I’m not so sure Bush is motivated by stubborness alone here. I think it’s motivated by business interests. The prison system in the U.S. has become big business – Angela Y. Davis calls it the “Prison Industrial Complex.” And ever since the “War on Drugs,” the prison industrial complex has been booming. Because this anti-drug offensive led to mass incarceration, primarily of Black and Latino men and women, more prisons needed to be built, more jobs created, more work farmed out by the government to the private corporations that profit off of mass incarceration. And I would guess that the vast majority of the people who run these prison services companies support mass incarceration and support Bush.

So not only does Bush get to indulge his blind and stubborn tendencies on this one, but he also gets to appease a powerful lobby at the same time.

For more on the consequences of the “War on Drugs,” Check out Mike Gray’s book Drug Crazy.

(photo source)

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11 Comments so far
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More lying, more spin, more this, more that. So tiring. Are you tired of blaming everything that goes wrong in your life on George Bush?

Comment by Kevin

Kevin, not sure Bean is blaming anything going wrong with her life on Dubya, unless she is doing crack behind our backs. She’s just blaming him for policies that simply make no sense, which people like you can only rebut by complaining that we complain too much.

Comment by Fishwatch

[…] The push to get rid of disparate drug sentencing that punishes crack cocaine 100 times as harshly as powder cocaine is picking up momentum.  At the recent Sentencing Commission hearing on the topic, even the man who proposed the sentencing scheme came out against it. While the Bush administration digs in its heels and refuses – once again – to acknowledge reality, Congress is engaging in a bipartisan effort to get rid of this racist and inhumane program. […]

Pingback by a bird and a bottle

[…] Like so much else in the Bush administration, the President has failed on this. Huffington seems to have hope that he might still take action. i think that hope is misplaced. Especially given the fact that Bush came out a couple of months ago against reforming the crack/cocaine sentencing disparity. […]

Pingback by a bird and a bottle

[…] cocaine report 2007 (PDF). The report – the fourth of its kind in recent years – aims to address the disparity between sentences for crimes involving powder cocaine and those involving crack. The 100-to-1 difference has resulted in harsh sentences for low-level crack users — and has […]

Pingback by a bird and a bottle

[…] cocaine report 2007 (PDF). The report – the fourth of its kind in recent years – aims to address the disparity between sentences for crimes involving powder cocaine and those involving crack. The 100-to-1 difference has resulted in harsh sentences for low-level crack users — and has […]

Pingback by Feministe » No End in Sight for the War on Drugs

[…] Then, bean, guest blogging at Feministe, discusses the war on drugs and cocaine report 2007, a recent report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission aiming to address the disparity between sentences for crimes involving powder cocaine and those involving crack. […]

Pingback by Noli Irritare Leones » Blog Archive » African Americans, Prison, Drugs

What are you? Retarded? Crack isn’t any more harmful than coke? That’s like whiskey mixed with Drain-O and windex isn’t any more harmful than beer. Both are harmful, but coke is much more potent, and is mixed with anything and everything under a kitchen counter.

What are you on, crack? And it’s Bush’s fault. Damn republicans.

Wait, they introduced a bill to reduce this sentencing disparity in 2002. (http://www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/inthenews/2002/gop-bill-addresses-crack.html)

I can’t believe Google links to this shit hole of a website.

Comment by Matt

Hey, where was that picture taken? I think I’ve toured the prison before…

Comment by lordkyler

Hi, my sites:dfb5b4fc89d4b49a00fa46a05a7eec2a

Comment by Yhanks you

Man the dude who said coke is much more harmful then crack has never been on any inner city street corners. Crack unlike coke is a fucking lifestyle to its users. It renders its users helpless and turns them into heartless shells of sub-human life form. But I feel the 100x harsher sentencing is bullshit none the less.

Free BIG E!!

Fuck the establishment!!!!!

Comment by amero




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