news & updates / April 09, 2003
 


 

This RAVE Act Won't Die : And Some New DBN Stuff
04.09.03
transmission: email / website

 

This RAVE Act thing just won't go away. The news has been up and down for the past several months, but once again it's getting closer to becoming reality.

The alert below is from the Drug Policy Alliance has been making the rounds. Many of you probably got this forwarded to you already from another source...we apologize for adding to your email. It's not really a Drop Bass Network news and update, however, it does affect many of you so we felt we should pass it on. Hopefully you'll take a stand and act against this proposed law.

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In Drop Bass Network record news look for two new releases by the end of the month and two more by the end of next month.

DBN060 : R-Zac 23 "Apocalyptic Base Redux"
DBN061 : Michael Wenz "Decline of Midwestern Civilization"

DBN062 : Adam X "Good versus Evil"
DBN063 : TBA

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Even Furthur festival : we're working on it for later this summer.

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and now the alert...

Subject:Emergency Action - RAVE Act Moving - Contact Your Senator Now
Date:Mon, 7 Apr 2003 11:44:58 -0700 (PDT)
From:Drug Policy Alliance <alerts@actioncenter.drugpolicy.org>

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SUPPORT DRUG POLICY REFORM!!! FORWARD THIS ALERT TO YOUR
FRIENDS, FAMILY AND COLLEAGUES
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*** EMERGENCY - JOE BIDEN TRYING TO SNEAK RAVE ACT INTO S151 Conference
*** CALL YOUR SENATOR NOW

Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) is at this very moment attempting to sneak the RAVE Act into conference committee on the National AMBER Alert Network Act of 2003 (S151). S151 is a popular bill about child abduction and has nothing to do with drug issues. S151 has already been passed by the Senate and House and is now in Conference. In contrast, the RAVE Act has not passed even one single committee this year. It did pass a committee last year, but was so controversial two Senators withdrew their sponsorship after the vote.

This means that if the RAVE Act passes the conference committee, it is likely to become law without ever having a hearing, a debate or a vote. Drug Policy Alliance has been told that Senator Biden has told other conference committee members, incorrectly, that the ACLU is no longer in opposition to the action. He also has told conferees that nightclub owners now support him (on the basis of one group that switched sides). If the act makes it into the conference language it is likely to become law. It must be stopped now.

PHONE YOUR SENATORS and Conference Committee Members (Background information below). DO IT NOW. If you do not respond to this alert, the controversial RAVE Act is likely to become law and it will be much harder to fix.

ACTIONS TO TAKE:

1. The following Members of Congress are on the conference committee. They need to hear from you IF AND ONLY IF you live in their district. Please be polite. Just tell them that you oppose the RAVE Act, that it is controversial and it should not be included in the conference language of S151. Don't stay on the phone long. Ask as many people as you can to call them.

HOUSE:
James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) - 202/225-5101
Howard Coble (R-NC) - 202/225-3065
Lamar Smith (R-TX) - 202/225-4236
Mark Green (R-WI)- 202/225-5665
Melissa Hart (R-PA)- 202/225-2565
John Conyers (D-MI) - 202/225-5126
Bobby Scott (D-VA) - - 202/225-8351

SENATE:
Orrin Hatch (R-UT) - 202/224-5251
Charles Grassley (R-IA) - 202/224-3744
Jeff Sessions (R-AL) - 202/224-4124
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) - 202/224-5972
Patrick Leahy (D-VT) - 202/224-4242
Ted Kennedy (D-MA) - 202/224-4543
Joseph Biden (D-DE) - 202/224-5042

2. Everyone in the U.S. - You have two Senators who can weigh in on this issue with the conferees. A list of your Senators by state can be found at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm. Please call your Senators at the Capitol Switchboard at 202/224-3121 ... tell them that the RAVE Act is very controversial. Senator Biden is holding up the AMBER Act by placing controversial bill in conference. Urge them to oppose the RAVE Act by contacting the Senate conferees and asking them to leave it off the measure so that there will at least be a hearing on this issue.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Congress is considering two pieces of legislation that could create disincentives for club owners to have water, ambulances and paramedics available at large dance events. The bills might also threaten live music and dancing. If enacted, either bill could prevent you from hearing your favorite band or DJ live. Every musical style would be affected, including rock and roll, Hip Hop, country, and electronic music. The proposed laws could also shut down hemp festivals, circuit parties, and other events government officials don't like. Both bills would allow overzealous prosecutors to send innocent people to jail for the crimes of others.

The two bills are the RAVE Act (H.R. 718) and the CLEAN-UP Act (H.R. 834). 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.

If enacted, the RAVE Act would make it easier for the federal government to punish property owners for any drug offense that their customers commit - even if they work hard to stop such offenses. If enacted, nightclub and stadium owners would likely stop holding events - such as rock or Hip Hop concerts - in which even one person might use drugs.

The CLEAN-UP Act was also first introduced last year, but it failed to make it out of committee. This year's bill has over 60 co-sponsors and could become law without your help. Sponsored by Rep. Doug Ose (R- CA), the Clean, Learn, Educate, Abolish, and Undermine Production (CLEAN-UP) of Methamphetamines Act is largely an innocuous bill that provides more money and training for the clean up of illegal methamphetamine lab. Hidden within the bill, however, is a draconian section that could make dancing and live music federal crimes.

Section 305 of the CLEAN-UP Act stipulates that:

'Whoever, for a commercial purpose, knowingly promotes any rave, dance, music, or other entertainment event, that takes place under circumstances where the promoter knows or reasonably ought to know that a controlled substance will be used or distributed in violation of Federal law or the law of the place where the event is held, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than 9 years, or both.'

This provision will allow any concert promoter, event organizer, nightclub owner and arena or stadium owner to be fined and jailed, since a reasonable person would know some people use drugs at musical events.

Under both the RAVE Act and the CLEAN-UP Act, it doesn't matter if the event promoter and property owner try to prevent people from using drugs. Nor does it matter if the vast majority of people attending the event are law-abiding citizens that want to listen to music not do drugs. If enacted, either bill could be used to shut down raves, circuit parties, marijuana rallies, unpopular music concerts, and any other event federal officials don't like.