The criminal justice system undoubtedly targets people of color. Nothing describes this type of discrimination quite like the crack vs. cocaine debate. Crack cocaine is a very addictive drug. Powder cocaine is seen as a powerful drug but isn’t as big of a priority as crack cocaine is in the eyes of the government. The criminal justice system has come out to say that crack cocaine is 100 times more dangerous and addictive than powder cocaine. This immediately caused individuals to look down on poor communities. However, science has come back saying that crack cocaine and powder cocaine produce identical effects to the user and chemically they are basically the same drug. When this science was presented to criminologists they stood by their decision of the 100:1 punishment ratio. Even stating that even though the drug produces the same effects, they aren’t the same. I don’t know about you but that doesn’t make any sense to me. Criminologists have put their blinders on towards the science of this topic and it has resulted in the discrimination of poorer neighborhoods.
Since crack cocaine is a cheap substitute for powder cocaine in our society, it has flooded poor communities. This has caused us to directly discriminate individuals of color because it is their neighborhoods this drug is flooding in. While the wealthy white teenagers are buying cocaine as a party drug and seeing no consequences, African Americans are targeted for crack cocaine and are sentenced to 100 times harsher punishments.
Realizing the discrimination in the 100:1 punishment ratio should be more important to our criminologists. Instead of putting on blinders to the scientific evidence at hand, they should have the drugs punishments match. The punishments revolving around crack cocaine should diminish down to meet powder cocaine. Continuously ignoring this issue is fueling the amount of racism and discrimination in this country.
Please comment your thoughts on the crack vs cocaine debate!