Letters from the week of May 29, 2003

Kelley's article, in my opinion, failed to convey just how disturbing this law really is. It seemed to gloss over the risk to anyone but rave promoters, and also seemed to imply that as long as only these types of events are targeted, this law is somehow not really a big deal.

On the contrary, this bill is an affront to American "freedom" and sets a scary precedent in federal law -- that people can now be charged for the crimes of others even if they try to prevent those crimes (Kelley's claim that this law will only affect promoters "if they know that their patrons are using illegal drugs" is misleading, as it has been argued that since it is known that people sometimes use drugs at events, promoters should reasonably know that their patrons are too). If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention!

This bill leaves the door wide open for the prosecution of any promoter, venue owner/manager/renter, or event coordinator that is in any way associated with "maintaining drug-involved premises" (words taken directly from the bill).

I'd like to note that in the very same issue as Kelley's article appeared, Christopher O'Connor contributed a lovely write-up about Goldenvoice's Coachella music festival in which he gleefully writes about the crowd, "Some look stoned, a reward for a weekend's worth of escape -- and for winning the surreptitious security game." Do not be mistaken, this event would be just as likely a target as any rave.

Name withheld by request

Biden his time: DEA Agent Tony Coulson needs to get a life. We don't need "another tool" in fighting crime; we need common sense and appropriate use of what's already there. The only "tool" I see is Joe Biden. Maybe Dan Harkins can be held responsible for teenage sex because it was in a movie!

Jim Torgeson

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