In 2014, a woman named Dede Goldsmith started a campaign in honor of her daughter, Shelley Goldsmith, who passed away at a festival. Rather than the typical response of asking for more restrictions at festivals, she saw the true problem: the “Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability To Ecstasy Act,” better known as “the RAVE Act.” Dede’s campaign, Amend The RAVE Act (ATRA), set the goal of changing the language in the RAVE Act to allow for common sense harm reduction tactics to be legally allowed at festivals. ATRA has garnered tens of thousands of signatures in an online petition and has the support from some members of congress.
Earlier this year we reported that the amendment would be sponsored by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) in the U.S. Senate; a process that is still under way. This week we learned that this movement has garnered the attention of the White House. Dede, along with Rob Goldsmith, Tammy Anderson, PHD, and Emanuel Sferios (founder of Dance Safe), will be meeting with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy on Friday, October 30. In a post made on social media, Dede shared this with the world:
“This is huge! I have great expectations that this will help put an end to the unintended consequences of a law that needs to be updated that is creating far too many deaths and medical emergencies at electronic music events … We’ve got this, Shelley!”
At this point we can not even begin to speculate on the out come of the meeting, but it is very exciting that this mission to save lives has reached all the way to the top level of our government and is getting the recognition it deserves. As always, we will keep you updated as information becomes available.
If you want to take action, head to our Harm Reduction Hub and sign both the Amend The RAVE Act petition and our own petition to allow amnesty for pill and powder testing services. You can also read our 2015 Seattle Voters Guide to see who supports making real positive change.
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