Crack cocaine

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Concept.png Crack cocaine 
Crack cocaine.jpg
A smokable form of cocaine which rose in popularity in the USA in the 1980s after the CIA upscaled the cocaine importation into the US.

Crack cocaine is a smokable form of cocaine.


Cocaine powder is easily "cooked" up to a crystalline form, "crack cocaine", which as it is smokable, is reckoned to be more addictive.


Crack form has been available in USA since late 1984.

Legal position

The 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act dramatically increased sentences for this form (a 100:1 disparity, meaning 5g of crack was treated in law as 500g of cocaine powder).[1] This resulted in much longer sentences for drug dealers in the (predominantly, poor, urban) neighbourhoods where crack was sold, and contributed to the racial imbalance among the prison population. The 2010 Fair Sentencing Act modified this imbalance (down to 18:1) but was not applied retrospectively.[2]


Related Quotations

Journalist“This story of CIA drug dealing became a sensation because of the website, not because of the story, but because people could get to it. And they could never have gotten to it before because the San Jose Mercury News is a small regional newspaper in Northern California that you couldn't read if you lived in New York or you couldn't read if you lived in L.A.. But this story you could read anywhere in the world.”Gary Webb2003
Jesse Katz“The crack epidemic in Los Angeles followed no blueprint or master plan. It was not orchestrated by the Contras or the CIA or any single drug ring. No one trafficker, even the kingpins who sold thousands of kilos and pocketed millions of dollars, ever came close to monopolizing the trade... How the crack epidemic reached that extreme, on some level, had nothing to do with Ross... [who was one of many] interchangeable characters... dwarfed by [other dealers].”Jesse Katz20 October 1996