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Rave Act heading to the Floor

Old 04-10-03, 10:15 PM
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Rave Act heading to the Floor

from http://www.drugpolicy.org/homepage.cfm

In an attempt to sneak the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act (formerly known as the “RAVE Act”) through Congress, Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) introduced the legislation into conference committee as an attachment to S151, widely referred to as the AMBER Alert bill. S151 is a bill about child abduction that has nothing to do with drug policy issues. The “RAVE” Act, in contrast, has not passed a single committee this year. In addition, it was so controversial when it was introduced last year that two Senators withdrew their sponsorship. The “RAVE” Act is a bill that would make it easier for the federal government to punish business owners for the drug offenses of their customers – even if they take steps to stop such activity.

On April 8, 2003, a Senate and House Conference Committee, agreed to attach the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act to the Amber Alert Bill. If the Democrats are successful in their efforts to attach the “RAVE” Act onto an unrelated bill, it is likely to become law without ever having a public hearing, debate or a vote. The legislation still must be voted on by the full House and Senate. Until the Senate and House act and the President signs the bill into law, we will continue to fight to remove the RAVE Act provisions from the AMBER Alert legislation.

The “RAVE” Act threatens free speech and musical expression while placing at risk any hotel/motel owner, concert promoter, event organizer, nightclub owner or arena/stadium owner for the drug violations of 3rd parties – real or alleged – even if the event promoter and/or property owner made a good-faith effort to keep their event drug-free. It applies not just to electronic-music parties, but any type of public gathering, including theatrical productions, rock concerts, DJ nights at local bars, and potentially even political rallies. Moreover, it gives heightened powers and discretion to prosecutors, who may use it to target events they personally don’t like – such as Hip-Hop events and gay and lesbian fundraisers.

The “RAVE” Act was first introduced last year in the Senate by Senator Joe Biden (D-DE). A House version was introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). Thanks to the support of thousands of voters like you, Drug Policy Alliance and a coalition of friends and activists around the country was able to stop both bills last year. Unfortunately, supporters of the “RAVE” Act are even more determined to pass it this year. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) is sponsoring a new “RAVE” Act in the House. Additionally, Senator Biden has introduced a Senate version entitled the Illicit Drugs Anti-Proliferation Act.

Opposition to the “RAVE” Act continues to grow. The Drug Policy Alliance and its coalition of partners will continue to mobilize to protect property owners and prevent the further criminalization of dance and music events. As always, we will keep on working to advocate for legislation that helps ensure the safety and free speech of the dance community and all people who stand to be adversely affected by this law.

contact your senator today.
http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/a...ep=2&item=1578
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Old 04-14-03, 06:49 PM
  #2  
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Join Date: Jan 2001
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Dear Members, Subscribers and Friends,

I do not normally use our alert channel to send a personal message.
However, I wanted to let you know that the Illicit Drug Anti-
Proliferation Act (also called the "RAVE Act"), which was attached to
the AMBER Alert bill, passed both the House and Senate late yesterday
(April 10).

The RAVE Act threatens free speech and musical expression while
placing at risk any hotel/motel owner, concert promoter, event
organizer, nightclub owner or arena/stadium owner for the drug
violations of 3rd parties - real or alleged - even if the event
promoter and/or property owner made a good-faith effort to keep their
event drug-free. It applies not just to electronic-music parties,
but to any type of public gathering, including theatrical
productions, rock concerts, DJ nights at local bars, and potentially
even political rallies. It gives heightened powers and discretion to
prosecutors, who may use it to target events they personally don't
like - such as Hip-Hop events and gay and lesbian fundraisers.

Sadly, the RAVE Act was added to the AMBER Alert bill conference
report at the very last minute by Senator Biden (D-DE), its original
sponsor. The AMBER Alert bill creates a system for responding to
child abduction. It has nothing to do with drug policy. The RAVE
Act had not passed even a single committee in the House or Senate
this year. One senator's pet issue made a mockery of the Democratic
process - becoming law without any public hearing or opportunity for
input whatsoever.

You should be aware that your letters and faxes clearly had an
effect. (FYI - you sent Congress 13,000 faxes this week alone!!)
For example, the word "rave" was removed from the version of the bill
that passed. Eliminating such blatant discrimination is a victory
for our continued freedom of speech. Also, the original bill
suggested that prosecutors should view the sale of water and the
presence of glowsticks or massage oil as evidence of drug use. These
ludicrous "findings" were completely removed thanks to you.

President Bush will sign this child abduction bill, which means the
RAVE Act will become law as well. We will be working with the
legislators who opposed this provision - such as Senators Durbin,
Kennedy and Leahy and Representatives Conyers and Scott - for its
repeal. In the meantime, however, it is up to all of us to be the
watchdogs of its enforcement.

Attorney General John Ashcroft will have to make decisions about its
enforcement priority among the many public safety issues the
Department of Justice handles. He must be held responsible when he
implements this scheme. We want him to know that he is not free to
shut down our dance clubs, our festivals and our freedoms. We will
be watching the activities of law enforcement and prosecutors, and we
will act when our rights are violated. You can help us by faxing
Attorney General Ashcroft here.
http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/a...ep=2&item=1581

We thank our many partners in this effort for your hard work: EMEF,
ROAR, Buzzlife Productions, Davey D., electronic dance and music
organizations throughout the U.S., club owners, hotel organizations,
beverage and licensing groups, the ACLU and many, many others. But
most of all, I want to say thank you personally to our members and
supporters.

You truly deserve credit for reacting so quickly and so forcefully.
It has really been amazing. When Bill McColl, our Director of
National Affairs, told me about this issue last June he said that he
thought the RAVE Act would pass in about 2 weeks. You proved us
wrong. It took 10 months, a change in control of the Senate,
backroom maneuverings and substantial changes to the bill. I'm
proud of the hard work of our members, friends and our coalition.
Rest assured we will continue to work together to mobilize opposition
and advocate to fix this dangerous law.

Sincerely,


Ethan Nadelmann
Executive Director
Drug Policy Alliance

Last edited by RoQuEr; 04-14-03 at 06:52 PM.
RoQuEr is offline  

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