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The legislation, an acronym for Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstacy, is aimed at cracking down on the illegal use of drugs at rock clubs and other large-scale gatherings, making the promoters liable to legal action.

DEATH OF THE ROCK FESTIVAL?

Amber Alert Bill Signed into Law by Bush Includes Controversial RAVE Amendment to Prosecute Concert Promoters Over Drugs
Could last weekend’s by-all-accounts successful Coachella festival be one of the last of the bigtime outdoor rock concerts?

It could be if a controversial amendment to the so-called child safety Amber Alerts bill, signed into law yesterday by President George W. Bush, has its intended effect.

The legislation, designed as a series of initiatives, including one to help authorities track down abducted children (named after Texas nine-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was saved by the system of electronic freeway sign warnings that alert drivers to kidnap suspects). One of the elements is an amendment once referred to as the RAVE act. The legislation, an acronym for Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy, is aimed at cracking down on the illegal use of drugs at rock clubs and other large-scale gatherings, making the promoters liable to legal action.

An early version of the bill, targeting drugs found at so-called raves, failed to pass Congress last year after complaints the bill unfairly painted all concerts as havens for illegal drug use.

The renamed Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act was modified to take out its original focus on raves and amended to the Amber Alert bill.

The broadened focus means the bill can now be applied to any gathering, meaning promoters of anything from Dodger games to rock concerts are put at the risk of federal prosecution. Opponents claim the action could have a chilling effect on entrepreneurs willing to back these events.

HITS' Sr. Editor Roy Trakin, cornered at the local 7-Eleven stocking up on Slim Jims, said: "I can't bring my bong to the Staples Center anymore? Get me my ACLU rep!"

The legislation is based on the federal "crack house" statute, which allows the prosecution of individuals who knowingly allow their private residences or business to be used for the buying or selling of drugs. The new law expands the statute to include temporary events like concerts or raves. Those convicted under the law would face prison terms or civil fines of up to $250k,or twice the gross revenue of their event.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein is a co-sponsor of the bill…and knows where you can score some superb hydroponic bud, too.

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