Drug safety advocates soldier on in quest to repeal RAVE Act
The deaths at this year’s Hard Summer rocked the nation, calling attention to the looming drug use problem within the dance community. Progression has slowly but surely continued, yet the recent death of a 22-year-old at TomorrowWorld indicates that the issue is far from resolved.
In an article published by Redlands Daily Facts, author Jason Henry investigates why some believe the RAVE Act is to blame for numerous casualties within the dance community. Formally known as The Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act, the RAVE Act urges event promoters to distance themselves from the glorification, or even recognition, of drug use at their events to avoid a penalization fee. Drug safety advocates, some of whom lost children to drug overdoses, are now seeking to repeal the RAVE Act in hopes of spreading awareness on the dangers of drugs.
Even though it’s difficult to gauge the effectiveness of the RAVE Act, many organizers feel it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take Insomniac’s Electric Forest for example: earlier this year the festival removed DanceSafe, the non-profit drug safety advocate foundation, from its grounds after they discovered the organization was distributing drug test kits. Pasquale Rotella, CEO of Insomniac, penned a response in a Reddit AMA asserting that as an event organizer, it’s already too difficult to get a dance event in motion, especially when certain people view DanceSafe’s efforts more as drug endorsement than educational resource.
Insomniac’s relationship with DanceSafe has since been terminated, though festivals like Lightning in a Bottle welcome the non-profit to host a tent every year; and with no known deaths reported, the festival manages to foster a harmonious community rooted in safety, with the festival celebrating its 15th year this year.
Festival organizers swear they are trying to remedy the issue, though—Insomniac partnered with the Brent Shapiro Foundation to spread awareness through “Save a Life Cards,” while HARD cut attendance by 20,000 and upped the minimum age attendance to 21 for this year’s Day of the Dead event. Though some in the dance community feel that HARD’s tight-lipped approach to addressing drug use does not align with the group’s values, CEO Gary Richards remains unphazed by the RAVE Act, insisting to Henry that HARD’s events “follow the law” and that there are no objections with sharing anti-drug messages that the county requires.
Via: Redlands Daily Facts