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If Biden becomes president, will the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine be ended by 2024?

Currently, the threshold for a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence for possession of crack cocaine is 28g, a factor of 18 smaller than the 500g for powder cocaine, a figure given by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. This ratio is down from the 100:1 disparity from the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986.

This sentencing disparity has been criticised as being racially motivated; crack cocaine and powder cocaine are pharmacologically similar, though crack cocaine is more commonly used by African Americans and powder cocaine is more commonly used by whites.

Joe Biden has claimed he plans to end this federal sentencing disparity.

If Joe Biden becomes president, will the amount in possession required to receive a federal drug trafficking penalty for possession of cocaine base be equal to the amount for cocaine?

Resolution will be by the text of 21 USC § 841, unless a different federal law becomes applicable to this situation.


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