Difference between Cocaine and Crack – California Cocaine Laws and Fair Sentencing Act

Posted by Raoul Severo | Oct 04, 2020 | 0 Comments

The human mind has innate desires that a person direly wants to fulfill. They crave for pleasure. The most human form of pleasure is the one that triggers the physiological senses. It provides arousing satisfaction that alleviates the human condition even for a short amount of time. A temporary moment of precious delight. This state of mind is something everyone wants to achieve so badly that there are people willing to go to the extremes for a chance of getting this level of high. Some people partake in appetitive treats, sexual gratifications, and many other forms of amusement to reach that climactic feeling. There are people who resort to drug use to feel that peak human emotion.

Most drugs are stimulants, people use them to trigger specific parts of their brain to give them a momentary transcendence. A high. Humans, since time immemorial, has been using substances to alter their consciousness. That momentary transcendent high. As of 2020, the majority of the states in America have allowed the use of specific substances for medicinal purposes and even recreational purposes – i.e., Cannabis or Marijuana. However, despite some drugs being legalized, there are still those that are widely seen as dangerous. One of those is Cocaine.


Cocaine, also known as blow, coke, crack, rock, or snow, is a highly addictive stimulating substance made from processing South America's native Coca plant. Although clinically used for a variety of purposes (i.e., anesthetics), using it for personal consumption is a criminal offense punishable by the California Cocaine law under the Controlled Substances Act.  The body can have different reactions when using cocaine, some of them include:

  • Short term euphoria
  • Heightened senses
  • Hyper alertness
  • Decreased
  • Increased heart rate

It is easy to be hooked up to cocaine due to its highly addictive nature. An addict or someone who has grown dependent to cocaine can have:

  • Severe mood changes
  • Irrational irritability
  • Paranoia
  •  Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations

Cocaine vs Crack

Among the many street names of cocaine, crack stands out from the rest. Aside from it being the most known; it is also seen as a different variation of the substance. Although structurally, the two are identical, cocaine usually refers to the pure powdered substance, while the crystallized one, due to undergoing another process by combining it with water and sodium bicarbonate, is called crack.

Crack is relatively cheaper because it is no longer pure cocaine; it has already been tampered and combined with other substances. However, due to the different chemicals mixed with crack, it is more unstable than regular cocaine. A more unstable yet more accessible, especially to the poorer sectors, due to its lower price than pure coke, crack is significantly more dangerous than cocaine. 

Fair Sentencing Act of 2010

Before former President Obama's Fair sentencing act of 2010, people noticed a social disparity in the system. A person in possession of pure cocaine can lead to jail time of at least five (5) years for five hundred (500) grams, while five (5) kilograms can land to ten (10) years. In comparison, a person caught for possession of crack can serve five (5) years for twenty-eight (28) grams while ten (10) years for two hundred and eighty (280) grams. Because of the users' nature, due to the price of the substances, the punishment for people in the lower tier of the societal demographics is more severe compared to more financially stable citizens.

The act eliminated the mandatory minimum sentence of five years and increased the amount of crack needed to be in the person's possession to qualify for the minimum sentence. It also changed the crack-to-pure cocaine ratio regarding the amount required to impose an equal sentence from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1. The disparity might still be present; however, it is significantly lessened.

Legal Support

The conditions to qualify for the sentences might have changed; possession of illegal drugs is still a criminal offense. Being accused and charged with violating the laws on harmful substances still has consequences. If you or someone you know ever had the misfortune of facing legal issues regarding possession of dangerous substances, it would be your best decision to get legal guidance at the Office of Raoul Severo to significantly lower your charges, if not dismiss the case.

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