Hundreds turned out
for a party/ rally/daylong rave at Westlake plaza Saturday, May 31, to protest the so-called RAVE Act, which makes it easier for local and federal law enforcement to arrest, fine, and imprison club and business owners who fail to prevent customers from using illegal drugs on their property. The act, withdrawn by its congressional sponsors last year after thousands of business owners and promoters signed petitions opposing it, was tacked on to unrelated legislation and signed by President Bush in late April.
Hempfest director Dominic Holden says because the law is so far-reaching and excessively punitive, it could discourage club owners from allowing harm-reduction groups like DanceSafe, which promotes safe drug use and club safety, into events. "Having a group like DanceSafe come in could be used as evidence that they have drug-related premises," Holden says.