Vindicating Reagan’s Drug Policy – 25 Years Later

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Sentencing Commission promulgated a permanent amendment to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines that reduces jail time for those convicted of offenses related to crack cocaine. Liberals would love to portray the new drug sentencing standard for crack cocaine as a success story, in which the Obama administration undid a draconian Reagan-era drug policy. Critics are unduly harsh on Ronald Reagan’s drug policy, blaming the Great Communicator for driving the hysteria in the 1980s which led to the enactment of unfair criminal drug laws.

However, liberals might want to avoid taking credit for “fairer” crack cocaine sentencing laws when President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. A look back twenty-five years ago reveals it was not President Reagan behind the gross disparities in sentencing of cocaine traffickers but in fact the liberals who created the problem in the first place.

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