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Crack or cocaine

Pure cocaine was first isolated from the leaves of the coca bush in

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Most people, when they think about crack or cocaine, tend to lump them together.

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There are no pharmacological differences between powder cocaine and crack cocaine.

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This means that, chemically, they are nearly identical and hence, produce similar. However, there is a difference in the way that the drugs are taken.

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Powder cocaine is snorted, injected or swallowed, while crack cocaine is smoked. Thus crack cocaine tends to be cheaper, faster acting, and the high lasts for a shorter period of time, compared to inhaling powder cocaine. How quickly the effects are felt differs based on how it is taken, as do the ways in which the associated harms can be reduced.

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Despite the fact that the chemical structure of powder cocaine and crack cocaine is nearly identical, the punishment for crack possession or sales is far greater than that of cocaine. Untilthis sentencing disparity was to 1, crack means that while just 5 grams of crack would carry a 5-year mandatory minimum, it would take grams of cocaine to trigger the same 5-year sentence. While the law was changed inthere continues to be a cocaine of 18 to 1.

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This sentencing disparity has had a disproportionate impact on poor people and people of color. Statistics show that Black people are more likely to be convicted of crack cocaine offenses even though the majority of crack cocaine users are white and white people are more likely to be convicted of powder cocaine offenses.

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This means that Black people continue to receive far harsher drug sentences than white people even though powder and crack cocaine are nearly identical substances. See the fact sheet for more information and sources. What is the difference between cocaine and crack?

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Go back to 10 Facts About Cocaine. Sentencing Disparities Despite the fact that the chemical structure of powder cocaine and crack cocaine is nearly identical, the punishment for crack possession or sales is far greater than that of cocaine.

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Other Cocaine Facts What is cocaine? What does it feel like to use cocaine? Can you become addicted to cocaine after using it once?

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How many people use cocaine? What are the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal? What options are available to treat cocaine addiction?

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How can we reduce the harms associated with using cocaine?