Land Of The E

The “Ecstasy Awareness Act” is an example of the kind of authoritarian Act of Congress that seems to be standard practice in the United States these days. The Act involves an amendment to the Controlled Substances Act which reads:

`(c) Whoever profits 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, shall be fined not more than $500,000 or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If the defendant is an organization, the fine imposable for the offense is not more than $2,000,000.’.

Note the wording “having reason to know”, so broad that it could be used by authorities to nail virtually any event promoter they choose. Under this act, it doesn’t matter whether the promoter has made efforts to stop drug taking at his events, and it doesn’t matter how few drug takers are at the event.

With this kind of legislation hanging over your head, would you want to run a nightclub, rave or other dance music event? I don’t think it’s drawing too long a bow to relate this sort of lawmaking to the events of September 11th. There seems to be a consensus in America now that the ends justify the means, that authoritarian law is OK if it’s for a good cause.

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