Congressman Don Young Helps House Pass Landmark Legislation Eliminating the Sentencing Disparity Between Crack and Powdered Cocaine
Cannabis Caucus Co-Chair Continues Efforts to Push Smart Policies to Combat Addiction and Promote Recovery
Washington, September 28, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, with the support of Alaska Congressman Don Young, the House of Representatives passed H.R.1693, the EQUAL Act – bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Congressman Young to eliminate the federal crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity and retroactively apply it to individuals already convicted or sentenced. The sentencing disparity between crack and powdered cocaine, at one point as high as 100 to 1, has also been noted to have disproportionate racial impacts.
“Too many families in Alaska and across our nation have been devastated by addiction. We must be doing all we can to create smart policies that lead to recovery, not unnecessary incarceration, said Congressman Don Young. “It should not matter if an individual possesses cocaine in powder form or crack form; it is the same substance. If we truly want to help those with addiction, we should focus on recovery over needlessly punitive measures. I have been open about my granddaughter’s struggles to become sober, which helps inform my work to reform our outdated drug laws, including cannabis policy. Through legislation like the EQUAL Act, we can help these individuals and the law enforcement and corrections officers whose vital efforts would be better spent on violent crime. I am proud to have supported this legislation, and will continue working in Congress to combat the drug use and addiction that has scarred too many families across Alaska.”