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RAVE Act II Surfaces (8/04/03)

     Dissatisfied with last year's passage of a watered down RAVE Act, several members of Congress have introduced a new version. This new 'RAVE Act' specifically targets dance events playing "electronic music", and creates penalties of up to a $2,000,000 fine and twenty years in federal prison if the people holding the party 'knew or should have known' that drug use was taking place at the event.

      This legislative atrocity was created by Bill Pascrell Jr., (D) of New Jersey.

Cosponsors:

Michael Capuano (D-Massachusetts.)

Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey.)

Bob Etheridge (D-North Carolina.)

Lee Terry (R-New England.)

    The good news is that the bill has been 'referred to committee' within an inch of it's life: Before the bill can be brought to a vote, it awaits the opinions and feedback of the House committee on Education and the Workforce, the committee on the Judiciary, and (of all things) the committee on Energy and Commerce. This sort of maneuvering is generally a way to kill a bill when nobody really wants to pass it but nobody wants to look like the bad guy by voting against it.

     Although this bill has virtually no chance of passing, that it was even proposed is rather shocking given how draconian the punishments are, how cursory and vague the offense is and the patent unconstitutionality of targeting just one type of music. If you'd like to let your Representative know how you feel about this legislation, the Drug Policy Alliance has a petition you can sign on-line (copies will be sent to your Representative at no cost to you.)

Postscript:  As expected, the bill was eventually 'killed in conference' (never brought to a vote.)