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We live in a prequel society that dates back hundreds or even thousands of years to our ancestors who engaged in a variety of recreational smoking activities. Some of the activities our ancestors did include using certain parts of trees that provided them with relief and ecstasy. The concept of drug use is not new but redefined or revolutionized over time. The only difference is all those years earlier we didn't name the substances "cocaine” or “crack" as we do now for the sake of identification and determining the type and length of the sentencing for crack and cocaine drug offenses relating to the Fair Sentencing Act. This Act stems from a widescale drug epidemic in the 1980s when the federal government waged a war on against drugs and crack and cocaine offenses.
What is a drug offense?
A drug offense is the use,
possession, growth, manufacturing, or sale of substances that are prohibited by
law and those that happen to be related to a dangerous class of drugs known as
Apart from being convicted of a
serious narcotic charge if found in possession of illegal substances, the U.S.
justice system provides criminals with some leniency in sentencing. One remedy
in the justice system is known as The Fair Sentencing Act.
What is Fair Sentencing Act?
The Fair Sentencing Act is an act
of Congress that was duly signed and initiated by President Barack Obama in
2010. It is responsible for providing convicts with leniency and reducing the
sentencing disparities for criminals given the type and weight of cocaine or
crack in their possession. Right from the time this act was instated, it
provided a legal remedy for multiple criminals and even a few individuals who
were caught up in this illegal act by mistake or unfortunate turns of events.
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Let us take an instant look into 10
revealing facts about illegal drug offenses and how the U.S. justice system has
dealt with such cases that were regulated and processed through the Fair
1. Social engagement with drugs and recreational
Whenever a criminal or a normal
person is apprehended while selling or buying illegal drugs such as cocaine or
crack, there is a social stigma attached to it. Whether they live in such an
environment that promotes the use of such narcotic drugs or are tempted by
others to engage in such criminal activities, society does play an important
2. Employment history/criminal past
People who engage in the illegal
use, selling or buying of drugs mostly have a violent or criminal past. Their
family, friends, or distant relatives may engage in such activities or their
neighborhood supports such illegal activities. A criminal record can affect
someone’s ability to obtain employment especially if they have a felony drug
conviction from selling illegal drugs.
3. Children are on a great verge of the illegal drug
The favorite targeted age group of some criminal organizations is children because they are an easy target and arise less suspicion when criminals smuggle illegal drugs. This is not only just a crime but a horrendous one. All over the US, this crime is practiced on a large scale by some violent organizations.
Over the past few decades, the use,
sale, and purchase of illegal drugs such as cocaine and crack have increased.
Because the overall market has doubled over all these years, there is even a
stronger financial push more than ever that has been feeding air into the
bursting fuel tank of illegal drug offenses.
5. Modernizing practices involving the latest technology
Technology is another obstacle that
lies between illicit drug dealers and authorities who are working around the
clock to stop them. The use of modern technology provides tools, equipment, and
other important factors that are required to cease the production, sales, or
buying of illegal drugs.
6. Professional and thought out distribution channels
What makes the justice system to be a little tough and subtle in announcing the sentencing is whether the individual or organization charged with a drug crime had a proper system through which they carried out activities or was it a one-time deal. If found that the accused have been using elaborate distribution schemes to run the illegal cartel then without any question they are going to prison.
7. Lack of knowledge and proper resources
Criminals charged with illegal drug
offenses often lack the proper knowledge and resources to help them score
reduced sentences. It is the responsibility of the state to properly debrief
criminals in jail or prison regarding their rights and options that can land
them a reduced sentence and even complete dismissal of the charges. However,
factors such as race and income can prevent the accused from obtaining good and
adequate legal representation. Although crack is more widespread in the white,
rich, and suburban demographic, it is used more in the black, poor, and urban
demographic who may lack the knowledge and resources to legally help them if
caught. There are more black people who are charged federally with drug
8. Public spending
The budget or resources that a
state is willing to redirect to stop or minimize the use of such activities
directly influences the scale of drug offenses happening in a country. If enough
resources are not allocated toward stopping illegal drug offenses, then it can
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9. Strictness in terms of sentencing
The U.S. justice system is very
strict about illegal drug offenses in terms of sales, use, and buying illegal
drugs. Individuals can face a minimum sentence of five years for getting caught
with as little as five grams of crack or 500 grams of powder cocaine although
they are the same drug produced by different methods. The Fair Sentencing Act
increased the amount of crack to 28 grams for leniency for criminals. However,
mandatory minimum sentencing seems to counter the effects of the Fair
Sentencing Act. Mandatory Minimum Sentencing is when someone is convicted of
a crime and must serve a minimum prison term instead of leaving the length of
punishment up to judges.
10. Increasing motivation because of decriminalization
There has been radical hype that the government has annulled various drugs from being illegal. Some people believe that this means they can buy, sell, or manufacture drugs, freely.
Decriminalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana and other therapeutic
drugs in some states may be triggering this motivation among individuals and
the rate of illegal drug offenses is increasing rapidly. However, marijuana is
not yet legal at the federal level.
The U.S court system treats
criminals who are serving their sentences under the Fair Sentencing Act with a
keen sense of leniency. The Fair Sentencing Act is responsible for the
following benefits to people charged with illegal drug offenses:
· Discriminates between
criminals depending on the scale of the offense, such as the type or quantity
of the drug sold, bought, or found in possession.
Provides the justice system
with an ultimate profile for the person under the charge of an illegal drug
Responsible for reduced
sentencing as well as provisions of unbiased judicial access to all criminals
Includes access to
various prohibition centers where convicts, if labeled as a drug user, can have
free treatments and do rehab while serving their sentence
Bring enormous reforms
to society by providing absolute justice and minimizing arrests that are done
on suspicion or lack of proof basis
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There are many interesting and
revealing facts pertaining to illegal drug offenses including social,
technological, educational, monetary, and other aspects. The Fair Sentencing
Act that was created in 2010 under President Barack Obama helps to provide convicted
criminals with sentencing leniency and reduction for illegal drug offenses. Despite
numerous implemented measures to deal with illegal drugs in the U.S., illegal
drugs continue to be an issue that is drawing more attention in our society especially
with recent criminal justice reform changes.
Stay tuned for more
incarceration-related information via our Cell Block Legendz blog. Did you like this
blog article? Feel free to share it with a friend. Thank you!
FindLaw (2019). Types of drug crimes.
Retrieved from FindLaw.
Mechanic, Jesse (2017). When a drug epidemic
hit white america,
became a disease. Retrieved from Huff
Nolo (2019). Drug laws and drug crimes.
Retrieved from Nolo.
USLegal (2019). Mandatory minimum sentencing
law and legal definition.
Retrieved from USLegal.
Read More About Illegal Drug Offenses And Criminal Justice Reform In These Books:
The Feds In Court: A Self-Help Legal Resource for Every American Paperback by
Harvey Sr, Edward Aaron
by Christopher Zoukis