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The X Files

Three pieces of federal legislation aimed at curbing raves are currently making their way through Congress

H.R. 3782 Clean-Up Methamphetamines Act of 2002

SEC. 416A. Promoters of Drug-Oriented Entertainment:
"Whoever 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 were the event is held, shall be fined under Title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than 9 years, or both."

S. 2633 Rave Act (Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act of 2002)

In its initial findings regarding raves, Congress declares that "According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, raves have become little more than a way to exploit American youth." The introductory statement claims that raves are, in truth, "drug dens" where promoters make money by selling drugs and charging exorbitant prices for Ecstasy paraphernalia.

This measure amends title 21 United States Code, a.k.a. the "crack house law," to hold property owners/renters/leasers responsible for drug use on their premises. Violators of this particular offense face a fine of up to $250,000.

SEC. 416. Maintaining Drug-Involved Premises:
"[It is unlawful to ] manage or control any place, whether permanently or temporarily, either as an owner, lessee, agent, employee, occupant, or mortgagee, and knowingly and intentionally rent, lease, profit from, or make available for use, with or without compensation, the place for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, storing, distributing, or using a controlled substance."

California A.B. 1941 Rave Parties: Permits

On the state level, A.B. 1941 would require promoters seeking permits for "any dance event that may be attended by 1,000 or more persons" to prove that they are "sufficiently knowledgeable about illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia." The bill has recently been amended to apply only to "electronic music dance event[s]" with 500 or more people, and is criticized by the California ACLU for being unconstitutionally discriminatory.

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From the July 24-31, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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