Crack cocaine is a highly concentrated form of cocaine. Rather than appearing as a fine powder, it appears as a hard, grainy, and brittle substance. It is usually ingested by smoking, rather than snorting powder, though it can also be taken intravenously. Crack cocaine and powdered cocaine are essentially the same drug – their pharmacological effects are almost identical, though the effects of crack tend to be stronger, while not lasting as long.
Crack cocaine tends to be far cheaper than powdered cocaine, and is therefore a large problem in poor urban communities. It is highly addictive, and associated with many negative health consequences.
Under federal law, trafficking of 500 grams or more of powdered cocaine carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison. For crack cocaine, mere possession of 5 grams or more of crack cocaine carries the same sentence. For powdered cocaine, there is no mandatory minimum sentence for mere possession.
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Last Modified: 09-09-2011 04:14 PM PDT