Origins of the Rave Act
The Rave Act stemmed from crack house statute (21 USC 856) which made “it a felony to knowingly open, lease, rent, use, or maintain any place for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, or using any controlled substance”. The crack house statute is use by the Justice Department to prosecute business owners and landlords who knowingly let their property to be used do illegal drug distribution.
Sponsored by Senator Joseph Biden, the Reducing America’s Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act was proposed in congress over 15 years ago. Extending the previous crack house statute to event promoters, expanding civil penalties, and reconsidered of sentencing for crimes involving Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). The RAVE act transformed to the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2003 which was passed, as a rider to the PROTECT act, aiming to prevents child abuse, prosecuting violent crimes against children, and creating the AMBER alert. Because it was passed with the PROTECT act, even though it had little to do with the bill, it was passed with a staggering majority.
How It Affects Our Work
The Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act has dissuaded event promoters and venues from allowing harm reduction measures, because it essentially acknowledges that the use of controlled substances is happening within the confines of that events. This has made it extremely difficult for services like on site drug testing to happen as promoters and venues cannot legally admit that their is any drug use going on. Moreover, paraphernalia laws in VA do not clearly define if reagent test kits are paraphernalia.
Changing the Law