Over at National Review Online, Dave Kopel and Glenn Reynolds launch a nice assault on an awful piece of legislation (re-introduced in the new Congress) that would amend the federal "crack house" statute to target promoters of raves.
The article attacks Democrats for supporting the provision, rightly so. But why do Republicans get a pass on this?
On Tuesday, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) joined Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) in support of the legislation:
GRASSLEY: "I believe an event promoter does have some responsibility for what goes on at an event that they create. Particularly if they knowingly create an event for the purpose of buying, using, keeping, or selling drugs. While not common, there have been court cases which have been able to reach this high standard of proof. Using 21 U.S.C. 856, more popularly known as the "crack house" statute, law enforcement has arrested drug dealers who hosted raves and other dance events as a cover to push their product. Four cases have been brought to Federal court, with mixed results–mostly because the applicability of current law is unclear.
"This legislation is an important step, but a careful one. Our future rests with the young people of this great nation and America is at risk. Ecstasy has shown itself to be a formidable threat and we must confront it on all fronts, not only through law enforcement but education and treatment as well. I hope my colleagues will join us in supporting this legislation, and help us work towards its quick passage."
And former (as of today) DEA boss Asa Hutchinson testified glowingly about his agency's initiatives against rave promoters, bragging about a promoter pleading guilty to the crack house statute following a DEA investigation.
Last I checked the DEA was part of the Department of Justice, which is headed by the guy National Review Online says "has done absolutely nothing to infringe upon the rights of people who like to dance."
As with most efforts to ratchet up the War on Drugs, both parties deserve the blame.