Congress is considering a sequel to the RAVE Act that is even more draconian than the first. If enacted, the Ecstasy Awareness Act would throw people in jail who organize raves or similar electronic dance events if some of their customers used drugs. Tell your representative to keep electronica concerts legal, using the online form at the Drug Policy Action Center.
Good electronica concerts are too few and far between already. Now members of congress are targetting the promoters of electronic dance music concerts for special persecution. Any restrictions on a category of music equate to censorship, because promoters won’t book electronic acts if it could put them in jail.
If enacted, H.R. 2962 would make it a federal crime, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, to profit “monetarily from a rave or similar electronic dance event, knowing or having reason to know that the unlawful use or distribution of a controlled substance occurs at the rave or similar event.”
Since it is reasonable to assume that music concerts – whether rock, country, rap, or electronic music -attract some people who want to use or sell drugs, this provision makes criminals out of every concert promoter, nightclub owner, and stadium or arena owner in the country. Moreover, its broad language would allow the federal government to find and jail Kinkos’ managers, soda and alcohol distributors, and anyone else that provided goods and services to an electronic music event.
The Ecstasy Awareness Act would allow the federal government to punish people for the crimes of others and would stifle free speech and musical expression. Moreover, it gives too much power and discretion to prosecutors, who may use it to target events they personally don’t like. There are no provisions that offer protections for free speech and innocent business owners.
The Drug Policy Center has a form that you can use to tell your representative whether you think America needs laws that discriminate against electronic music fans. The bill was sponsored by Rep Bill Pascrell, Jr. of New Jersey. You can tell him what you think about his idea to discriminate against electronic music at his taxpayer supported website, or by calling him at (202) 225-5751.