RAVE Is On -- Again
It's baaaack. The proposed, and extremely draconian, Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy (RAVE) Act has reemerged this Congressional session -- although it no longer bears that catchy little moniker. The bill was filed last session by Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., and proposed extending the nets of the infamous Biden-sponsored Eighties "crack house laws" by broadening their definition to include any businessperson, club owner, or promoter on whose property or at whose events illicit drugs are used or sold.
The legislation was clearly aimed at squashing the rave scene, but drug reformers and civil libertarians quickly cried foul at the law's broad language, which could apply to any use of property, no matter how "temporary," potentially including citizens who use drugs in their own homes. Representatives from the ACLU, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and other reformers took their ire to Capitol Hill last fall when they staged a rave dance-rally in the halls of Congress. Shortly thereafter, the bill began to hemorrhage sponsors and then quietly disappeared.
That is, until this month, when it cropped up again attached to an omnibus domestic-security bill -- the Justice Enhancement and Domestic Security Act of 2003, sponsored by Tom Daschle, D-S.D. -- in a section on "Crack-House Statute Amendments." The ploy -- attaching a controversial provision to a fuzzy-bunny bill that no one is likely to vote against -- is common. Indeed, the revamped RAVE Act has been dumped into legislation whose other provisions would help protect missing and exploited children, senior citizens, and rape victims, and would combat telemarketing fraud and identity theft. But RAVE wasn't hidden well enough to evade the eyes of drug reformers, who are planning once again to protest.
Drug Policy Alliance Fact Sheet: What is Wrong with this Legislation?
This article was originally published by the Austin Chronicle.
Fact sheet produced by Drug Policy Alliance.