I often write about the idiocies of the drug war, how many innocent people are killed, money is wasted, etc., but this one subject, the Rave Act, leaves me apoplectic. But even I didn't imagine it could be this bad.
First, a little background. Most of the readers of this blog will know about the Rave Act. The Act's proponents imagine that nightclubs and festivals that feature electronic dance music promote drug use. So they set out to shut down the electronic music business. Before my blood pressure hits the ceiling I'll just quote some other bloggers.
Don Watkins' Anger Management:
This is correct, but as Glenn notes, "the DEA has been after not just drug use, but the 'rave scene,' and electronic music in general, which it regards as part of a 'drug culture' that it sees as a legitimate target."
This is serious stuff, friends. This isn't just another insane drug law. The RAVE Act is an assault on a particular group of people defined, not by what chemicals they do or do not use, but by the music they happen to enjoy. I know a lot of people who make their living as club owners, promoters, or DJ's. These people are being targeted by power-hungry pols and police who have decided to make electronic music the latest scapegoat for America's drug problem, and unlike drug laws that (unjustly) punish a person for putting illegal substances into his own body, the RAVE Act is designed to punish a person for what other people put into their own bodies.
My biggest problem as a club owner was that the kids drank water. I was in the business of selling alcohol. Water is free in the bathroom, and cheap as hell in refillable plastic bottles. Imagine how I hated them for drinking water -- ungrateful little brats! I needed to pay my g.......ed rent!
Well guess what! Now I could be arrested for selling them water.
I am absolutely not kidding. Congressional findings state explicitly the intent of the federal government to criminalize water:
"congressional findings" that, according to the Washington Post, declare bottled water, chill rooms and glowsticks to be drug paraphernalia. It also retains the crackhouse law sentencing guidelines: Party organizers whose patrons get busted with drugs can face fines in the millions and up to 20 years in federal prison.
OK, to recap for those unfamiliar with the rave scene, basically a rave is a non-stop dance party that goes to the wee hours of the morning. Party-goers dance until they're beat. Like any nightclub or concert crowd, some participants use illegal drugs, including ecstacy and other mild stimulants. These people, whether on drugs or not, tend to get dehydrated. Concerned club operators have been known to provide cool-down rooms, with cold water available, for the comfort and safety of patrons.
Which practice could now net the proprietor 20 years in the pen.