Minimum prison sentences for drug crimes are not a deterrent. The only thing they are effective in doing is to keep prisons open and guards working, keeping police and judges employed, and making lawyers wealthy. 90 percent of drug crimes are buying and selling transactions between consenting adults. Let's do away with this expensive process and get back to catching the real criminals and prosecuting them one at a time.
When the US was developing as a nation, the legislative, executive and judicial branches were separated in order to prevent corruption and promote justice. Mandatory minimums are legislative intrusion into the judicial branch, and have lead to unjust sentences for many people, damaging their lives and those of their families. The judicial branch is supposed to be beyond the reach of any other governmental branch in order to impose fair sentences, and mandatory minimums strip this power from judges by forcing their hand even when they find no reason to impose such a harsh sentence.