Journal Entry: Daniel Jason Harrington-12/23/2023

Journal Entry

Advocacy Action Plan…

The federal Sentencing Guidelines call for someone convicted of possessing methamphetamine over 80% purity (“actual meth”) to be punished 10 times more harshly than someone with under 80% purity (meth mixture). The justification for this is that, when the guidelines were enacted in the 80’s, most meth was around 50% purity, so the purer the meth the higher up on the “distribution chain” you were, as it is diluted as it is passed down. Yet the 2019 DEA drug threat assessment handbook states that the average lowest-level user can now purchase methamphetamine at 95% purity. Which means that everyone, from the highest level distributor, to the street level peddler, to the one who’s just the addicted user, will all face this ten times higher sentence. This is much the same as the crack/cocaine disparity, if all cocaine were to be treated as crack cocaine.

Being impacted by the harsh Methamphetamine guidelines, and the disparity between “actual meth” and meth mixture has brought about a deep desire to advocate the urgency to fix this flaw, and take a proactive stance. I have studied the methamphetamine guidelines and purity levels over the years, those impacted by them, and learned how to draft a bill proposal to present to Congress.

Over the years I have sent these proposals to family and friends; given them to others who have been incarcerated to send to their family members; and mailed copies to House Reps and Senators individually month by month.

Having first handedly been subjected to these draconian and deeply flawed federal sentencing guidelines has made me passionate about not only fixing the meth guidelines that directly affect me, but the rest of the guidelines and injustices that every incarcerated individual and their families suffer through.

I share insights and knowledge with others, both inside these walls and out there to every extent possible. I was told that if I am not part of the solution then I am part of the problem, so standing by and doing nothing was not an option for me.

Creating websites to raise awareness to these issues is another way to take a proactive stance, and draws the attention of the public to issues that they are otherwise blinded to.