Cocaine Isn’t What It Used to Be
On July 20, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held in United States v. Ruth that Illinois defines cocaine more broadly than the federal government. Because the Illinois definition of cocaine covers more than the corresponding federal definition, prior Illinois cocaine convictions can no longer be used to enhance a federal drug defendant’s mandatory minimum sentence. In his September Illinois Bar Journal article, “Cocaine Isn’t What It Used to Be,” Thomas Drysdale explores how sentencing enhancements are built into federal drug laws, how and when those enhancements can be applied, why Illinois cocaine convictions are no longer predicate offenses after United States v. Ruth, and what the potential consequences of Ruth will be going forward.
Read the article Cocaine Isn’t What It Used to Be in the August issue of the Illinois Bar Journal.