Okay I guess I have to make a few phone calls before I get to my homework this morning.
The ACLU has just released the following Alerts:
From: Matt Howes, National Internet Organizer, ACLU To: ACLU Action Network Members Date: April 7, 2003
Oppose the Culture War on Raves
Members of both the House and Senate are attempting to pervert proper legislative processes by appending two unrelated provisions to the popular Amber Alert measure. One of the two provisions would target raves -- a social event that mixes electronic music, light shows and dancing; the other provision would seek to limit the discretion of federal judges.
The rave provision would make building owners liable for their tenants' and customers' activities. For example, even if they instituted excellent security precautions, restaurant, bar, nightclub, dance and music venue owners could all be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars and forced into bankruptcy if a customer sneaked in drugs. No matter how much security is put in place, they could be held responsible for the actions of just one customer.
The federal sentencing provision would require the Justice Department to report to Congress every time federal judges use their discretion to impose a lower sentence than recommended under federal sentencing guidelines. This would intimidate judges and prevent them from using their judgement when handing down sentences.
These anti-civil liberties amendments should have full legislative review and not be allowed to piggyback on more popular, yet unrelated, legislation.
Take Action! Click here for more information and to urge proper legislative process for these provisions:
*** EMERGENCY - JOE BIDEN TRYING TO SNEAK RAVE ACT INTO S151 Conference *** CALL YOUR SENATOR NOWPosted by Lisa at April 08, 2003 07:44 AM | TrackBack
Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) is at this very moment attempting to sneak
the RAVE Act into conference committee on the National AMBER Alert
Network Act of 2003 (S151). S151 is a popular bill about child
abduction and has nothing to do with drug issues. S151 has already
been passed by the Senate and House and is now in Conference. In
contrast, the RAVE Act has not passed even one single committee this
year. It did pass a committee last year, but was so controversial
two Senators withdrew their sponsorship after the vote.
This means that if the RAVE Act passes the conference committee, it
is likely to become law without ever having a hearing, a debate or a
vote. Drug Policy Alliance has been told that Senator Biden has told
other conference committee members, incorrectly, that the ACLU is no
longer in opposition to the action. He also has told conferees that
nightclub owners now support him (on the basis of one group that
switched sides). If the act makes it into the conference language it
is likely to become law. It must be stopped now.
PHONE YOUR SENATORS and Conference Committee Members (Background
information below). DO IT NOW. If you do not respond to this alert,
the controversial RAVE Act is likely to become law and it will be
much harder to fix.
ACTIONS TO TAKE:
1. The following Members of Congress are on the conference
committee. They need to hear from you IF AND ONLY IF you live in
their district. Please be polite. Just tell them that you oppose
the RAVE Act, that it is controversial and it should not be included
in the conference language of S151. Don't stay on the phone long.
Ask as many people as you can to call them.
James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) - 202/225-5101
Howard Coble (R-NC) - 202/225-3065
Lamar Smith (R-TX) - 202/225-4236
Mark Green (R-WI)- 202/225-5665
Melissa Hart (R-PA)- 202/225-2565
John Conyers (D-MI) - 202/225-5126
Bobby Scott (D-VA) - - 202/225-8351
Orrin Hatch (R-UT) - 202/224-5251
Charles Grassley (R-IA) - 202/224-3744
Jeff Sessions (R-AL) - 202/224-4124
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) - 202/224-5972
Patrick Leahy (D-VT) - 202/224-4242
Ted Kennedy (D-MA) - 202/224-4543
Joseph Biden (D-DE) - 202/224-5042
2. Everyone in the U.S. - You have two Senators who can weigh in on
this issue with the conferees. A list of your Senators by state can
be found at
Please call your Senators at the Capitol Switchboard at 202/224-3121 -
please tell them that the RAVE Act is very controversial. Senator
Biden is holding up the AMBER Act by placing controversial bill in
conference. Urge them to oppose the RAVE Act by contacting the
Senate conferees and asking them to leave it off the measure so that
there will at least be a hearing on this issue.
Congress is considering two pieces of legislation that could create
disincentives for club owners to have water, ambulances and
paramedics available at large dance events. The bills might also
threaten live music and dancing. If enacted, either bill could
prevent you from hearing your favorite band or DJ live. Every musical
style would be affected, including rock and roll, Hip Hop, country,
and electronic music. The proposed laws could also shut down hemp
festivals, circuit parties, and other events government officials
don't like. Both bills would allow overzealous prosecutors to send
innocent people to jail for the crimes of others.
The two bills are the RAVE Act (H.R. 718) and the CLEAN-UP Act (H.R.
834). The RAVE Act was first introduced last year in the Senate by
Senator Joe Biden (D-DE). A House version was introduced by Rep.
Lamar Smith (R-TX). Thanks to the support of thousands of voters like
you, Drug Policy Alliance and a coalition of friends and activists
around the country was able to stop both bills last year.
Unfortunately, supporters of the RAVE Act are even more determined to
pass it this year. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) is sponsoring a new RAVE
Act in the House. Additionally, Senator Biden has introduced a Senate
version entitled the Illicit Drugs Anti-Proliferation Act.
If enacted, the RAVE Act would make it easier for the federal
government to punish property owners for any drug offense that their
customers commit - even if they work hard to stop such offenses. If
enacted, nightclub and stadium owners would likely stop holding
events - such as rock or Hip Hop concerts - in which even one person
might use drugs.
The CLEAN-UP Act was also first introduced last year, but it failed
to make it out of committee. This year's bill has over 60 co-sponsors
and could become law without your help. Sponsored by Rep. Doug Ose (R-
CA), the Clean, Learn, Educate, Abolish, and Undermine Production
(CLEAN-UP) of Methamphetamines Act is largely an innocuous bill that
provides more money and training for the clean up of illegal
methamphetamine lab. Hidden within the bill, however, is a draconian
section that could make dancing and live music federal crimes.
Section 305 of the CLEAN-UP Act stipulates that:
`Whoever, for a commercial purpose, knowingly promotes any rave,
dance, music, or other entertainment event, that takes place under
circumstances where the promoter knows or reasonably ought to know
that a controlled substance will be used or distributed in violation
of Federal law or the law of the place where the event is held, shall
be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not
more than 9 years, or both.'
This provision will allow any concert promoter, event organizer,
nightclub owner and arena or stadium owner to be fined and jailed,
since a reasonable person would know some people use drugs at musical
Under both the RAVE Act and the CLEAN-UP Act, it doesn't matter if
the event promoter and property owner try to prevent people from
using drugs. Nor does it matter if the vast majority of people
attending the event are law-abiding citizens that want to listen to
music not do drugs. If enacted, either bill could be used to shut
down raves, circuit parties, marijuana rallies, unpopular music
concerts, and any other event federal officials don't like.
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