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African Americans Tend to Suffer More from Drug Abuse

as carried on.

The crack is usually sold in the open and violence-prone areas but the powder in more secure environs.

With the presidential elections approaching fast, activists are demanding a commitment from the Democratic contenders to abolish the disparity in sentencing between crack and powder. For Blacks are considered a major vote-bank of the Democrats. Because of disenfranchisement statutes, large numbers of black men who were convicted of drug crimes are ineligible to vote.

A 2000 study found that 1.4 million African American men -- 13% of the total black male population -- were unable to vote in the 2000 election because of state laws barring felons access to the polls.

In Florida, one in three black men is permanently disqualified from voting. That might have made the difference between victory and defeat for George W. Bush, it is pointed out.

But so far no serious Democratic contender has committed himself or herself on the issue of abolishing the disparity.
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