Mo. lawmakers trim disparity in cocaine sentences

May 18, 2012

Missouri lawmakers have endorsed a proposal to reduce the disparity in prison sentences between people convicted of crimes involving crack and powder cocaine.

Under current state law, people convicted of manufacturing more than 2 grams of crack face the same prison sentence as someone distributing more than 150 grams of cocaine.

The new law would make more than 8 grams of crack comparable to more than 150 grams of cocaine.

The House gave the measure final approval Friday, sending the legislation to Gov. Jay Nixon. Supporters say the changes are about fairness. The drug laws were part of broader legislation dealing with the state's judiciary.

Last year, a national group that advocates for criminal justice reforms urged more than a dozen states to curb sentencing disparities in state drug laws.