DanceSafe Launch Amend The RAVE Act Campaign
US harm reduction nightlife organisation Dancesafe have teamed up with civil liberties organisation the Drug Policy Alliance to try and amend America’s infamous RAVE Act.
Launching an online petition this week, Dancesafe said ‘they hope to change the law and ‘clarify that venue owners and event producers will not be subject to criminal or civil prosecution for implementing basic safety measures as a means to reduce medical emergencies, including those associated with drug use.’
“The Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act, or the RAVE Act, was first introduced in 2002 by then-Senator Joseph Biden. The bill was renamed and passed the following year as the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act,” they explained.
“The RAVE Act expanded the “crack house” laws established in the 1980s to include temporary venues. As a result, festival and other event producers could face criminal and civil charges if they were found to be “knowingly maintaining a drug-involved premise.”
“So what does it mean to “knowingly maintain a drug-involved premise?” Dancesafe continued.
“The original lawmakers apparently intended for the measure to be directed at event producers who were actively involved in selling drugs.
However, the law has been interpreted by many event producers (and their lawyers and insurance companies) to mean that basic safety measures (i.e. free water, cool down space, drug education materials, even the presence of DanceSafe!) “prove” that they know drug use is present, and make them vulnerable to prosecution under the RAVE Act.” (Dancesafe )
The Drug Policy Alliance previously launched a comprehensive campaign against the Rave Act some years earlier, singling out Joe Biden again as the law’s key architect.
“The War on Drugs has often been used to suppress music and lifestyles disliked by the political establishment,” they also noted.
“Local, state, and federal drug laws give the government enormous power and this power has been used to exert control over emerging subcultures. Jazz in the 1940s. Rock and roll in the 1960s. Heavy metal and rap in the 1980s. Electronic music and Hip Hop today.”
Drug Policy Alliance: “Safer Partying Campaign: ”Things need to change so that we can have the best experience going out possible. Our #SaferPartying campaign has four goals to get us there – check them out and add your support to one or all of them.
1. “Stop hating on people who use drugs when they go out. We’re all out to have a great time and absent any harm to others, there’s no need to judge people for how they enjoy themselves . . .”