Electronic Music Organization Creating Anti-Rave Law Database 1/25/02

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As politicians and drug law enforcers unable or unwilling to make a distinction between ecstasy use and the youthful rave culture go after the drug by attacking the music, the electronic music industry is fighting back. Club owners and promoters at the State Theatre in New Orleans and Club La Vela in Panama City, FL, have successfully fended off heavy-handed federal prosecutions. Young club goers and ravers have created organizations, such as DanceSafe (http://www.dancesafe.org), seeking to make taking club drugs safer. Musicians and promoters in cities such as Austin have united to thwart threatened legal assaults. And the industry, backed by The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation, has created the Electronic Music Education and Defense Fund (http://www.emdef.org) to provide legal assistance for music professionals whose businesses and careers are caught up in the club drug hysteria.

Now, in an effort to keep the electronic music community focused on the threat posed by club drug hysteria, EMDEF has announced it is creating a database of anti-rave laws and pending legislation. "The database will serve as a reference resource of laws enacted to thwart electronic music events," explained EMDEF's Gary Blitz. "It will also focus attention on various government attempts to restrict electronic music events, and hopefully will motivate people to take action," he told DRCNet.

"Numerous local government entities are enacting laws and ordinances specifically directed at 'raves,'" Blitz added. "The first step toward fighting these laws is knowing of them. We would like to know and be able to inform club owners, promoters, artists, and club goers of these laws before someone ends up in court, instead of after."

With the so-called Ecstasy Prevention Act (S. 1208) still alive in the Congress, Blitz predicts that if it passes it will inspire a new wave of anti-rave legislation. He has good reason. One section of the bill would throw federal dollars at communities that enact anti-rave ordinances or other forms of legal harassment.

The text of Section 3, discussing the awarding of federal grants for ecstasy prevention, reads as follows: "[T]he Administrator shall give priority to communities that have taken measures to combat club drug use, including passing ordinances restricting rave clubs, increasing law enforcement on Ecstasy, and seizing lands under nuisance abatement laws to make new restrictions on an establishment's use."

The federal government seeks to bribe local officials into passing laws threatening the rave culture and, more broadly, the entire electronic music community. Only with information and organization can the community respond effectively. If there is an anti-rave measure, from a local nuisance ordinance already on the books to a bill in a state legislature to restrict the music, EMDEF wants to know. Contact them through their web site.

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Issue #221, 1/25/02 Editorial: Different Ways to Lie | New Afghan Government Reinstates Ban on Poppy Cultivation, Opium Dealers Cheer | Budget Woes Possible Wedge for Drug Reform, Some States Already Cutting Sentences, Prisons | Chills, Inc. Paraphernalia Bust Puts Big Chill on Industry, Pipe Makers Caught in Legal Netherworld | From Bad to Worse in Bolivia: Peasants Kill Soldiers, Government Sets Sights on Cocalero Leader Evo Morales | Two More European Voices Call for Reconsideration of Marijuana Laws | Electronic Music Organization Creating Anti-Rave Law Database | Commentary: State Department Offers More of the Same on Latin America Drug Policy | Alerts: HEA Drug Provision, Bolivia, DEA Hemp Ban, Ecstasy, Mandatory Minimums, Medical Marijuana | The Reformer's Calendar

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