Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Alcohol More Dangerous Than Crack, Yet We Still Get Disproportionate Sentencing

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Sryacuse University – Scholarship in Action 

A recent study in the United Kingdom found that alcohol has a more harmful impact on society than other drugs, including crack cocaine and heroine. The study was surprising, but makes sense in light of the fact that alcohol is so readily available in our society. It takes some work to find the local crack dealer, but you can “get your drink on” almost anywhere you like.

I found the study to be interesting primarily because the justification previously used for disproportionate incarceration for crack-related offenses was that the crack trade was dangerous for our society. So, the kid on the corner caught with a vile of dope was given a sentence that would never be leveled on the 19-year old college student who binge drinks on the weekend.


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