Lobbyists for the prison industrial complex
Great article in the Boston Phoenix about how lobbyists for the private prison industry (and law enforcement trade associations) agitate for long prison sentences for drug offenders.
For example, a massive sentencing disparity for equal weights of crack vs. powder cocaine is good for business. If getting caught with a gram of crack carried the same punishment as a gram of powder cocaine, a lot fewer people would do prison time.
The article describes how lobbyists for Corrections Corporation of America and other clients with vested interests in detention have fought various drug policy reforms in Massachusetts.