The Drug Policy Alliance reports that Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) is trying to sneak his Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy (RAVE) Act into legislation, now in conference committee, creating a National AMBER Alert Network for kidnapped children. The RAVE Act, first introduced last year, would punish venue owners for drug use on their property even if they took steps to prevent it. The DPA warns that it could effectively ban live music performances and other events that might attract drug users.

NEXT: Damascus Road Experience

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. James,
    While I agree with everything you say. I think your proposed solutions are too radical. That is I think they could be easily bypassed, and are all but unenforceable. I propose, that all bills coming before the House of Reps and the Senate, must be read out loud, in their entirety, prior to being voted on for final passage. While this does not impose all the restrictions you (and I) would like, on our legislative bodies. It does go pretty far. Its best feature is its simplicity. Easily enforceable, and not open to interpretation (not that that matters in Washington, see the Bill of Rights). But who knows, it might be enough to allow just one guy to torpedo a bill.

  2. Somebody at the Minnesota legislature tacked an anti-abortion amendment to some minor proposal having to do with circuses. Protestors are wearing clown suits.

    I agree with every post on this thread. Amazing.

  3. I still like line-item veto.

  4. RAVE Act-Bad Policy
    NATIONAL Amber Alert-Bad Policy (Local-good, National-Bad)

    It’s a “Two-fer”!

  5. Now if there were just a coupon for them, by girlfriend would buy as much as she could get her hands on.

  6. “…and other events that might attract drug users.”

    Would this include the Democratic National Convention?

  7. This could shut down most of the high schools and all of the colleges in the U.S.

  8. Good point. If applied to high schools and colleges this would basically require all of them to be closed because of “drug use on their property even if they took steps to prevent it.”

    (I miss college. . . )

  9. We need a couple of new constitutional amendments:

    1. No Representative or Senator can legally vote yes on any bill, and no President can sign a bill into law, without having first read it in its entirety and provided a brief essay for the public record, which explains the reasons why he believes the bill to be consistent with the Constitution. Those essays shall be entered into the public record and will be available to be inspected by any citizen.

    2. All bills will contain no more than a handful of closely-related provisions or amendments; no amendment to a bill will contain more than one provision. No bill containing more than one provision or amendment will exceed ten pages of text set in 10-point or larger type.

    The ability to graft arbitrary attachments to bills is one of the great weaknesses of our system; its consequences are a national shame.

    Maybe if the folks in congress had to spend time reading their legislation in full, and justifying its constitutionality, fewer laws would be passed, but they would be more straightforward and well-considered, and perhaps they would even respect the alleged constitutional limits that are supposed to restrain the federal government. Biden’s quest to bind his RAVE act to the AMBER proposal is even more misguided than the efforts to pass either bill alone.

  10. How much crappy governance has been imposed on us because of cute acronymns?

  11. At least the cute acronymn gives it some greater likelyhood of being heard about by the general public. And a better opportunity to publicly debate its merits (or lack thereof). I think ALL new bills should have a memorable acronymn so the public is aware of what exactly our legislature is doing.

  12. I’ve always thought there should be an ammendment limiting the effectiveness of laws to a 20 year period, after 20 years, they have to be voted on again. This way, congress will spend most of it’s time re-debating bills they debate 20 years ago, instead of passing crappy new ones.

  13. EMAIL: pamela_woodlake@yahoo.com
    URL: http://web-hosting.1st-host.org
    DATE: 01/20/2004 12:07:40
    Without hope, the rest is nothing.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.