Missouri's statutory sentencing enhancements for prior and persistent drug offenders do not appropriately punish the different types of drug dealers. You may think, "Who cares? All drug dealers belong in prison for as long as we can keep them there". If that is your position, the 8th Amendment would like to have a word with you. Also, go read this Riverfront Times article posted last week about this very topic and then come back. It is a "must read" if you are interested in how these statutes affect real people in the real world.
For the rest of you, here is the crux. The Missouri statutes that enhance sentences for prior and persistent drug offenders establish a one-size-fits-all punishment scheme that has the tendency to treat small time drug users selling to support their own habit like big time drug traffickers moving product around the state. To be clear, no one is saying dealing or manufacturing drugs is okay. But, not all drug dealers are equally culpable and should not therefore be punished as if they are.
So how does all this work?