"On the night I almost died from smoking crack, there was no conscious understanding of what was happening in my mind or body. I was reduced to a state of depravity, like an animal whose only purpose was to never come down from the rush."
I have given thousands of doses of crack cocaine to people -- as part of my research. To punish crack offenses more harshly than powder offenses is like punishing more harshly those who are caught smoking marijuana than those caught eating marijuana-laced brownies.
In May, Richard Gatica was found guilty of murder for the strangling of his cellmate at a jail in San Bernardino County, his third life prison term. Gatica is writing his memoirs, Never Feel The Wind, and this is his story of how he killed a crack dealer.
In this sense, poverty itself is what singles a pregnant woman out for persecution. It is no coincidence that the main focus for drug prosecutions for pregnant women in the United States is crack cocaine, a drug almost exclusively used by the resource-poor.