Drug War

Law Championed by Joe Biden Leads to More Ecstasy Deaths


Girl dancing at rave

The quarterly social research magazine Contexts has an article by Tammy Anderson, author of Rave Culture: The Alteration and Decline of a Philadelphia Music Scene, in its Fall issue about the 2003 Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy (RAVE) Act, championed by then-Sen. Joe Biden. The law was intended to reduce deaths due to the use of ecstasy, a pill that contains MDMA, usually cut with caffeine or some other drug. How deadly is ecstasy? Statistics are hard to come by. Sixty-three people were reported to have died from ecstasy used in 2000. Many more die from, say, alcohol poisoning every way—the ecstasy death rate might be as low as one per million users.

Nevertheless, the perceived exoticism and danger of the drug, exaggerated by media accounts of young people's deaths, led Joe Biden to add penalties to venues that knowingly cater to drug users, a primary component of the RAVE Act, in a misguided and typical fashion for government. And, as typical for a government solution, the RAVE Act came with "unintended consequences" that did the opposite of what legislators hoped the bill would do. Instead of reducing vulnerability to ecstasy, the law increased that vulnerability by criminalizing the simple things that make ecstasy even safer, like dance floor patrols, cool down rooms, even free water. The responsibility to stay safe is on the drug user—to know before taking a drug that it may require rehydrating before feeling dehydratring, cooling down once in a while, and so. But that certainly doesn't preclude venues from offering tools to make drug use even safer too. It's being a good Samaritan and its good business too. When given the choice, drug users prefer to go to venues that cater to their use rather than venues that will toss them into an alley when they're throwing up from a bad drug trip.

That happened to one drug user according to Anderson, because the club believed, not wrongly, that if they offered medical assistance they would be held liable for her drug use. That's what Joe Biden has wrought on drug users that don't happen to be his children because of his obsession with the war on drugs. Contexts reports:

The 2003 RAVE Act places young ravers at great risk of harm. Because the act treats raves' cultural traits as evidence that promoters are permitting drug use and sales, it places festival stakeholders in a bind over how to protect ravers without being shut down. For example, rave promoters are perceived to sanction drug use if they permit cultural props such as glow sticks, lollypops, and massage oils to be sold at their event, or if they provide chill rooms and free bottled water to ravers. Since MDMA use (in either its Ecstasy or Molly varieties) and dancing at raves can produce extreme dehydration, critics interpret the distribution of free bottled water as a sign that promoters are trying to hydrate, and therefore accommodate, ravers' drug use. Promoters even told me that "rave" language on flyers or other promotional materials could serve as evidence of a legal violation.

If they offer drug intervention services, such as drug testing and education, promoters may be at even greater legal risk. Rotondo died from MDMA toxicity; a MDMA/Methylone combination killed Russ. Had drug testing and education been offered at EZoo, Rotondo might have learned not to take so many hits of Molly and Russ would have learned that his Molly had been mixed with extremely dangerous methylone ("bath salts").

From my first drug experience I've always been sure to research and talk with friends about every drug I thought about taking. Legalizing MDMA would make drug use even safer by allowing simple education to win over the anti-drug propaganda privileged in an environment where drugs are criminal.

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  1. Obey or die.

  2. Could someone translate the last sentence of this post into English. It seems to be written in an arcane form of proggie-derp I am unfamiliar with.

    1. [Legalizing MDMA would make drug use even safer]

      means: It would be even safer to use ecstasy if it wasn’t illegal

      [by allowing simple education to win over the anti-drug propaganda privileged in an environment where drugs are criminal.]

      It would be safer because anti-drug propaganda wouldn’t have an advantage over education aimed at safer drug use.


      1. So in English:

        Legalizing MDMA would make drug use even safer since simple education would not be drowned out by inaccurate and misleading anti-drug propaganda.

        Got it.

        1. But words like privilege and environment aren’t owned by progs, especially not in this context

          1. Yeah, I think that is an actual proper use of “privilege”. There are laws designed to restrict honest education about drugs and to give a special place to misleading anti-drug propaganda.

            1. It’s a terrible sentence, because privilege is being used in the passive voice. Which is what progs do. Good writers avoid the passive voice, because it requires the reader to infer who did something. The passive voice is vague. Which is why progs use privilege in the passive voice so profligately as to make them the primary writers of that verb.

              The sentence is proggie-derp because it is opaque, vague and ultimately an emotional appeal that has been purified of reason.

    2. OBEY,understand?

    3. I understand it, but it’s difficult because of the alternate parsing of “win over”, and the possibility that “privileged” is not an adjective for the closest noun but an adverb for the preceding verb.

      1. I proofread & copy edit books & instructional materials by Robert Blumetti, and the above would be one of those cases where I might have to call him up to make sure I understood the meaning before rewriting it.

        Unfortunately he still has a lot of material he published before he got me on the job, and it’s taking a while before he can afford to fix it. What I’d really like to do is a thorough (not just copy) editing, but that’d be a lot of work he’d have to pay me for, and in his fiction it’d also result in a lot of cutting that he wouldn’t stand for. He writes for the audience that wants to read stories which give the H, W, & D of bldgs., tell the inconsequential seating order of a family watching TV, etc.

  3. I don’t know how you can write an article like this without going apeshit with rage. I guess that’s why I do something else for a living 🙂

  4. OT: headline at “American Thinker”:

    Barbara Boxer announces she won’t run for re-election: Average IQ of Senate set to rise in 2017.

    1. You’re assuming no dim bulbs are elected in 2016…

      1. There aren’t any bulbs that dim.

    2. The dead-tree issue of the SF Chron headline included the word “shrewd” in describing her.
      I think that was a way to avoid claiming she was other than dumb as rocks.

      1. They were only off by one letter.

  5. One of these days I am going to try weed.
    Still not sure what the big deal is about and quite honestly I am worried I will be disappointed.

    1. Don’t inject it your first time. Just snort a few lines to see if you like it.

      1. But Episiarch told me that it was supposed to be taken rectally!

        1. Buttsnort it, you idjit! Like your hero, Stevie Nicks.

        2. Better do a good job getting the stems out.

    2. Don’t judge it by your first experiance.

    3. You will be utterly amazed at how mild and insignificant the effects are and you may not even like it. Whatever your experience, no drug is even close to as underwhelming (given its reputation) than cocaine.

      1. Cocaine gives me a headache. Otherwise, it’s kinda like Adderall.

    4. Why worry? Try it a few times, if you don’t like it or find it uninteresting, then yo don’t do it anymore. Weed seems to have a pretty broad appeal, but no drug is for everyone.

  6. OT2: French cops assaulting building where hostage being held.

    1. This is one time where I wish they could’ve borrowed some American cops.

      1. Do you now have faith in Captain Renault?

        1. Do you not have faith in Captain Renault?

          Some days I can’t type. This must be on ofe those days.

        2. It’s gone to pot since Inspector Clouseau retired.

          I just would prefer the guarantee in this case.

      2. They won’t need any help. RAID, the French national police CT unit, is on the absolute bleeding edge of room entry and indoor battle. They’re as good as anyone in the states, and probably better that most.

        1. They’re a legitimate SWAT team, not just random fat guys with violence boner and federally-provided toys.

  7. I died on ecstasy once. Well, it was actually a mix of MDMA and LSD. I was tripping pretty hard. And then I smoked a joint. And I got fucking interstellar. My mind floated across the universe for millions of years and it kept getting farther from light until it was charging through a great void. And then I was stuck in kind of a two dimensional, very angular universe for a while. Then the angles began to rub down and soften and I was just floating in a void. It was comforting, but was kind of scary if I really focused on it. I floated there for a lifetime. As I started to coalesce, a lot of my fears and prejudices started to melt away. I was walking next to my mind and as a fear or prejudice approached, me and my mind would laugh at it or call it silly names. And we just kept walking and laughing and hugging each other. Finally I kind of pulled it back together enough and I invited my mind back inside my brain. I felt great.

    Moondance Party. June 1998, Calabasas, CA.

    1. I got high just reading this.

    2. A fantabulous night to make romance.

    3. Candy flipping +9000

  8. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link,
    go to tech tab for work detail ???????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  9. The war on drugs kills way more people than the drugs.

  10. Nevertheless, the perceived exoticism and danger of the drug, exaggerated by media accounts of young people’s deaths, The fun and pleasure people get from using the drug led Joe Biden to add penalties to venues that knowingly cater to drug users


  11. Stand up Joe, let em see ya.

  12. MDMA is quite safe and non-addictive. The only danger at all is because of prohibition.

  13. Take down the guard rail so people will drive safer.

    1. What guard rail. A trillion dollars later kids can buy anything they want at in high school.

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