At Dance Music Northwest, harm reduction is our most sacred cause. The subject of harm reduction is taking center stage as the most important issue in our scene because of the ever-increasing rate of fatalities at festivals. The only real way to prevent deaths at festivals is to change our approach to Harm Reduction; but that requires everyone to participate in the process.
Over a year ago, Dede Goldsmith started a campaign to change the way festivals handle harm reduction. She began this campaign after her daughter sadly passed away because of inadequate harm reduction measures. Rather than blaming the festivals, music, or culture, she saw the real problem when it comes to safety at festivals: The Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act or The RAVE Act. This legislation was developed as an expansion of the Crack House Laws of the 1980s as a way to combat the underground rave scene drug problems. Nefarious promoters back then would throw shows in abandoned buildings and also provide all the drugs needed for you to have a good time. In a sense, this law was actually very useful in keeping people safe.
Now that those days are all but gone, it’s time that the law reflects the needs of the day. Under that law, any promotion company or venue that even acknowledges that people are using drugs at their event can be prosecuted under this law. Which means a venue can’t even hand out information about drugs and drug safety. A strict zero-tolerance approach was adopted and we are now starting to see the consequences of it. Deaths are becoming all to common because people are not well informed about the dangers of their actions. For example, the most popular drug on the scene “Molly” (MDMA), is often mixed with dangerous designer knock-offs, like PMMA, which is 10 times more powerful and can kill you.
The Amend The Rave Act (ATRA) petition has gained 11,600 signatures and has the support from U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). Dede has been working with his office on the amendment since its infancy. It is important to note that the bill still needs a sponsor and might be slightly different when it goes to Congress. ATRA told us that “this is a strategic decision to get the legislators to feel vested in the legislation that they support. So he or she may include some language that would help them feel that it is their own.” Heres a little ELI5 (explain like I’m 5) video from School House Rock that will explain how a bill works.
Dede is asking for one last big push from all its supporters. We want this to become a reality, but it doesn’t happen with out your participation. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, do so now! There is a link to the page at the bottom of this article. If you have signed, share the petition page with your friends, and have them get on board for real change. Let’s make a better scene for all of us. Let’s save some lives.
For one of the most meaningful 30 seconds of your life, go here: https://www.amendtheraveact.org/sign-the-petition/
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