The Rave Act.

Below is a wealth of information you should be aware of:

Impeach Bush
The Musician's Guide to drug policy reform:

"In the House, the legislation is still called the RAVE Act (H.R. 718). In the Senate, it's called the Illicit Drugs Anti-Proliferation Act (S. 226), but it is just the RAVE Act with a different name. If enacted, the legislation would harm innocent business owners, undermine public safety, and stifle free speech and musical expression. These provisions are also part of S. 22, a domestic security bill sponsored by Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD). "

The Michigan Daily

"The RAVE Act would make concert promoters, club owners and proprietors of other entertainment venues face a $250,000 fine if there is any drug use on their premises. While it is clearly impossible for businesspeople to be responsible for the actions of every one of their customers, these senators are intent on dismantling the freedom to assemble under the guise of an anti-drug stance."


Stop the Rave Act

"Not only does the RAVE act attack the rights of concert promoters, it directly assaults the property rights of individuals who rent buildings and other spaces to promoters. If you rent a theater to a promoter, and there is drug use of any kind found at the concert subsequently held, both the promoter and property owner can be held liable. And since the bill allows the government to charge the property owner civilly, prosecutors will be held to a lower burden of proof than in a criminal case. But the results will be just as bad for defendants, since the law provides a $250,000 penalty for violation.

On top of all this, the RAVE Act is a violation of the First Amendment, because it deliberately targets a particular form of musical expression for prosecution based on content. The bill presumes raves are more prone to drug use than other concerts, which is not true (or at least, it hasn't been proven by anyone.) The bill amounts to libel against the thousands of Americans who peacefully enjoy and participate in electronic music concerts without ever using drugs—a group that is clearly a majority of ravegoers. In what other context would we ever permit the government to label the majority based on the actions of a minority?"

Oppose the Culture War against Raves ~ ACLU

"In the 1960s, hippie culture was seen as threatening, irresponsible and primarily about drug use. Even though most of those young people came together because of a mutual interest in peace, adults of that era labeled them as criminals and troublemakers.  

A new kind of social event that mixes an electronic music concert, light show and dancing--popularly known as raves--has been similarly stigmatized. The media often portray raves as dangerous, sinister drug fests and the people who attend them as criminals who only use the events to sell drugs to youth. Raves, however, are a legitimate cultural event just like rock concerts, art exhibitions and film screenings, and are an important outlet for youth culture today. 

In a misguided spin-off of the "War on Drugs," the Senate is considering legislation that targets raves and would have the effect of classifying common rave items like glow sticks and massage oils as drug paraphernalia. The Reducing Americans Vulnerability to Ecstasy (RAVE) Act, introduced by Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) in the 107th Congress, is back but is being referred to now as the “Crack-house Statute amendments”.  S. 226 would also impose huge fines and even prison time on the owners of venues into which customers bring controlled substances. No matter how much security is put in place, they could be held responsible for the actions of just one customer. 

Holding club owners and promoters of raves criminally liable for what some people may do at these events is no different from arresting the stadium owners and promoters of a Rolling Stones concert or a rap show because some concertgoers may be smoking or selling marijuana. Unless a loud and powerful objection to this legislation is voiced, an already misunderstood community and culture could be criminalized. 

After ACLU Action, Police Dismiss Citations Against Hundreds of Electronic Music Concertgoers in Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE -- The City of Racine today agreed to drop all charges against 442 people who were ticketed at a benefit electronic music concert simply for being in proximity to a drug arrest on the premises -- a prosecution the American Civil Liberties Union called a first in the "war on drugs."

Stories from the Racine "Rave Raid"

   In November 2002, local police officers in Racine, Wisconsin raided a benefit party featuring electronic music. Three people were arrested on drug charges but over 440 people were issued citations for $968 just for being at a party where drugs were found. 

 Meet some of the people who were caught up in this “rave raid.”

 A Married Couple

A married couple had decided to attend the event to report on its fundraising aspect.  However, their fun was abruptly cut short when the police unexpectedly entered the building. The couple was forced to sit on the ground for over 3 hours without being informed of the reasons. Eventually, they received citations for $968 each although they had not used, bought or sold any drugs that evening and were not searched or questioned by the police.   

Sign Anti-Rave Petition

Let us be real here. The R.A.V.E. Act is highly unconstitutional. It violates our freedom of assembly rights, which I believe is in our 1st Amendment with the freedom of speech. The government does not know anything about our scene other than the drug use. This really bothers me as much as it bothers you.


Sign Anti-Rave Petition

"The RAVE Act along with other bills such as H.R. 3782, known as “Clean, Learn, Educate, Abolish, Neutralize, and Undermine Production (CLEAN-UP) of Methamphetamines Act of 2002, seriously jeopardize the liberties of law-abiding promoters and partygoers."

Sign Anti-Rave Petition

The ACLU as well as many hard working business owners and citizens of this community are challenging this bill, stating that it is an apparent violation of our first amendment constitutional rights. While Americans are not granted the right to sell drugs, we are granted the right to free speech, right to assembly, and right to expression. This includes music, dancing, and gathering in small groups to listen to music. The passing of this bill would allow the federal government to fine or imprison businessmen and women if they fail to stop their customers from using or selling drugs on their premises or at their events. The RAVE Act unfairly punishes business owners for the crimes of their customers and is unprecedented in U.S. history. The federal government can't even keep drugs out of its own prisons and public schools, yet this law fines business owners hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to keep people from carrying drugs onto their premises. One begins to question the motives behind a bill of this nature, and this community of people will not stand nor tolerate this bill becoming law.
Right to dance is not a crime

"There are so many issues in this world to be concerned about — who knew one of them was going to be the simple act of dancing?

The RAVE (Reducing American’s Vulnerability to Ecstasy) Act is not a new topic of discussion, but is still a major issue concerning our very basic rights and freedoms. Now, dancing could be illegal.The RAVE Act is an extension of the Controlled Substance Act, or the “crack house statute.” The point of this legislation is to prevent drug use and distribution by targeting those who are responsible for putting on raves like promoters, venue managers and landowners.

This means if just one drug dealer sneaks ecstasy or any other illicit drug into a night club past the bouncer or cops, the club could be shut down and the owners arrested and/or fined between $250,000 and $2,000,000."

© All content copyright Johnny Philko. 2003