Contact: James Arnold or Mary Collins Atkinson (202) 224-2353
June 21, 2021


Cotton Bill to Equalize Minimum Penalties for Powder and Crack Cocaine Trafficking

Washington, D.C. – Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today introduced legislation that would strengthen the minimum penalties for powder cocaine trafficking to match penalties for crack cocaine trafficking. Bill text may be found here.

“Crack and powder cocaine both kill thousands of Americans every year, but the penalties for selling each substance aren’t the same. My bill would increase penalties for criminals trafficking powder cocaine to ensure fairness in sentencing without granting early release to violent drug traffickers.”


  • Nationwide, cocaine overdose deaths have tripled since 2015, and are now the most common cause of overdose death after opioids.