http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=1516

Congress Threatens Live Music and Dancing!!

Congress is considering two pieces of legislation that could effectively ban live music and dancing, while throwing innocent people like you in jail. If enacted, either bill could prevent you from hearing your favorite band or DJ live. Every musical style would be affected, including rock and roll, Hip Hop, country, and electronic music. Both bills would allow overzealous prosecutors to send innocent people to jail for the crimes of others. Your help is needed to stop these bills from becoming law!!!

Congress is considering two pieces of legislation that could effectively ban live music and dancing, while throwing innocent people like you in jail. If enacted, either bill could prevent you from hearing your favorite band or DJ live. Every musical style would be affected, including rock and roll, Hip Hop, country, and electronic music. Both bills would allow overzealous prosecutors to send innocent people to jail for the crimes of others. The two bills are the RAVE Act (H.R. 718) and the CLEAN-UP Act (H.R. 834). Both could be passed this year without your help.

The RAVE Act would make it easier for the federal government to punish property owners for any drug offense that their customers commit – even if they work hard to stop such offenses. If enacted, nightclub and stadium owners would likely stop holding events – such as rock or Hip Hop concerts – in which even one person might use drugs. Similarly, the CLEAN-UP Act contains provisions that would make it a federal crime – punishable by up to nine years in prison – to promote “any rave, dance, music or other entertainment event” that might attract some attendees that would use or sell drugs. In both cases, it doesn’t matter if the concert promoter and property owner try to prevent people from using drugs. Nor does it matter if the vast majority of people attending the event are law-abiding citizens that want to listen to music not do drugs.

The RAVE Act was first introduced last year in the Senate by Senator Joe Biden (D-DE). A House version was introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). Thanks to the support of thousands of voters like you, Drug Policy Alliance and a coalition of friends and activists around the country was able to stop both bills last year. Unfortunately, supporters of the RAVE Act are even more determined to pass it this year. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) is sponsoring a new RAVE Act in the House. Additionally, Senator Biden has introduced a Senate version entitled the Illicit Drugs Anti-Proliferation Act.

If enacted, both the House RAVE Act and the Senate Anti-Proliferation Act would make it easier for federal prosecutors to fine and imprison business owners that fail to stop drug offenses from occurring. Businessmen and women could be prosecuted even if they were not involved in drugs – and even if they took steps to stop drug use on their property. Although proponents of the bill are seeking to target raves (and DJs, nightclub owners, and rave promoters have the most to fear), the law would apply to any business owner, including bar owners, motel owners, concert promoters, and cruise ship owners. Because of its broad language, the proposed law would even potentially subject people to twenty years in federal prison if one or more of their guests smoked marijuana at their party or barbecue.

For more information on the RAVE Act and Drug Policy Alliance’s campaign to stop it, see: The Musician’s Guide to Drug Policy Reform.

Click here to read the full text of H.R. 718.

The CLEAN-UP Act was also first introduced last year, but it failed to make it out of committee. This year’s bill has over 60 co-sponsors and could become law without your help. Sponsored by Rep. Doug Ose (R-CA), the Clean, Learn, Educate, Abolish, and Undermine Production (CLEAN-UP) of Methamphetamines Act is largely an innocuous bill that provides more money and training for the clean up of illegal methamphetamine lab. Hidden within the bill, however, is a draconian section that could make dancing and live music federal crimes.

Section 305 of the CLEAN-UP Act stipulates that:

`Whoever, for a commercial purpose, knowingly promotes any rave, dance, music, or other entertainment event, that takes place under circumstances where the promoter knows or reasonably ought to know that a controlled substance will be used or distributed in violation of Federal law or the law of the place where the event is held, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than 9 years, or both.’

Under the provision, any concert promoter, nightclub owner and arena or stadium owner could be fined and jailed, since a reasonable person would know some people use drugs at musical events.

Click here for the full text of H.R. 834.

Opponents of the bills fear that both proposed laws would be used by racist or homophobic prosecutors to target Hip Hop and R&B concerts and gay and lesbian nightclubs. Both bills would also eradicate electronic dance music and culture, as we know it.

http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=1516

CJA stuff and implications, from my own pages.

http://tash.gn.apc.org/law_impl.htm

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