Amend the Rave Act
What is the Rave Act?
The Reducing American’s Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act, or the RAVE Act, was first introduced by Senator Joseph Biden in 2002. Renamed the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act, it was passed by Congress the following year.
The RAVE Act expanded earlier “crack house” laws to include commercial venues, allowing business owners to be prosecuted if they “maintain a drug-involved premises.”
When originally passed, the Act gave law enforcement officials greater power to shut down underground dance parties when promoters were knowingly and intentionally encouraging the use of illicit drugs. However, its current language has created a more dangerous situation today by discouraging legitimate EDM concert and festival organizers from enacting common sense safety measures to protect their patrons. Providing free water and air-conditioned rooms, and allowing drug education and other harm reduction services inside their events would save lives. Yet many event organizers are afraid that these actions could be seen as encouraging drug use and therefore subject them to criminal prosecution under the RAVE Act.
From Dede Goldsmith, Youth Advocate & President, Protect Our Youth, Inc.:
One more death is one too many.
My name is Dede Goldsmith. On August 31, 2013, my daughter, Shelley, died of heat stroke at an electronic dance music (EDM) concert in Washington D.C. after taking MDMA.
Shelley was an honors student at the University of Virginia. She loved life and was an inspiration to all those who knew her. Her death was not an overdose. Rather, it resulted from a combination of MDMA and dehydration after dancing for hours in a hot, overcrowded environment, which ultimately led to hyperthermia or heat stroke. It can happen to anyone. In fact, fatalities are increasing at EDM concerts and festivals across the country.
Too many young people are dying, and the 2003 RAVE Act is part of the problem because it is preventing the implementation of common sense safety measures at these events. It is time for a “safety first” approach to drug use that emphasizes harm reduction alongside current law enforcement efforts.
I am committed to making sure these tragedies do not happen to any other families. Will you join me in helping improve our country’s drug policy and protect young people in the EDM community?
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