The Department of Justice has adjusted a longstanding drug policy on crack.

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This is the front page of the New York Post, July 31, 1986. (AP Photo)
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This is Clay Cane

The Department of Justice has adjusted a longstanding drug policy on crack. In a memo, Attorney General Merrick Garland instructed federal prosecutors to end charging and sentencing disparities in cases involving crack and powder cocaine. Federal law enforcement policy for decades called for disproportionately higher punishment for crack offenders, who are predominantly Black. Supporters argue that the disparity is warranted because crack in smaller amounts is more addictive than powder cocaine. Activists warn the change could be temporary unless Congress passes legislation to permanently revise sentencing guidelines.

FILE – In this 1989 file photo, a razor blade is used to divide the contents of a five-dollar vile of crack, a smokable, purified form of cocaine, at a crack house in the South Bronx section of New York. Cocaine deaths have been rising, health officials said Thursday, May 2, 2019, in their latest report on the nation’s drug overdose epidemic. After several years of decline, overdose deaths involving cocaine began rising in 2013. And they jumped by more than a third between 2016 and 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

For AURN News, this is Clay Cane.

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