Sacred, Sweet, Wicked Ecstasy Electronic Dance Music & Social Liberation

Editors’ note: Thanks to some typically sleazy last-minute conniving by Democratic Senator Joseph Biden, the “Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy” (R.A.V.E.) Act was signed into Federal law by Bush on April 30, 2003.

The bill’s introduction says in no uncertain terms that raves are “drug dens” where promoters sell illegal drugs and charge exorbitant prices for Ecstasy paraphernalia, such as bottled water, massage oil, and glow sticks. Under the law’s measures, property owners/renters/leasers and event promoters are criminally liable for drug use on their premises and may he fined up to $250,000 and nine years in prison. The effect, of course, is to discourage the electronic music events since the actions of just one dancer could result in a fine or jail time for event organizers.