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September 29, 2021

Trone-backed Bill to End the Sentencing Disparity Between Crack and Powder Cocaine Passes House

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 29, 2021

Contact: Sasha Galbreath, Sasha.Galbreath@mail.house.gov 

Trone-backed Bill to End the Sentencing Disparity Between Crack and Powder Cocaine Passes House

WASHINGTON — Congressman David Trone (MD-06) applauded yesterday’s passage of the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation aims to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine offenses. 

“The EQUAL Act will finally eliminate the racist laws that treat crack cocaine and powder cocaine differently,” said Congressman David Trone. “The only real difference between these two substances is that one has historically been found in wealthier, white neighborhoods, while the other is more commonly found in Black and Brown communities. I’m glad that we came together across the aisle to pass legislation that will reform our justice system for the better. I hope the Senate acts quickly to send this to the President’s desk.” 

In 1986, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act established mandatory minimum sentences for drug trafficking offences. The sentences for crack cocaine versus powder cocaine were originally formulated at a 100 to 1 ratio, leading to much more frequent and harsher sentences for crack cocaine offenses. The EQUAL Act is a step toward rectifying this decades-long injustice and creating a fairer system for all Americans. 

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees in the 117th Congress and previously served on the Education and Labor and Foreign Affairs Committees. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.

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