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Drug Reform Issues Progressing Under Obama Administration

The Obama administration has promised certain drug law reforms, and it appears that we may soon see some of the results. One of the issues that we have written about before is the disparity between criminal sentences for crack cocaine crimes versus powder cocaine crimes in the federal criminal system. Under the Bush administration, people convicted of relatively small amounts of crack cocaine would receive much higher prison sentences than people convicted of having higher quantities of powder cocaine. Under the new administration, we should see sentences on crack cocaine crimes equal to sentences for powder cocaine crimes. Additionally, the Obama administration is reducing funding for the media anti-drug campaign. Under the Bush administration, an enormous amount of money was spent on television commercials and various other media outlets to combat drug use, but studies showed that the campaign was not effective and the money was not well spent. The Obama administration is also trying to make it easier for people to obtain student loans after being convicted of relatively minor drug crimes. Lawmakers are also proposing bills that would decriminalize small marijuana possession under the federal laws and legalize medical marijuana in more places.