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Rave-goers lose bid to overturn party restrictions
freedom forum ^ | 6 23 03 | associated press

Posted on 06/23/2003 1:37:10 PM PDT by freepatriot32

NEW ORLEANS — Federal prosecutors have hailed a federal appeals court ruling as a victory in their efforts to curb illegal drug use at high energy, all night dance parties known as raves.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on June 20 that an agreement, worked out between the government and a rave club in New Orleans, can be enforced although it bans legal playthings like giant pacifiers, glow sticks and mentholated inhalers.

Prosecutors say the stuff is Ecstasy paraphernalia that promotes illegal drug use.

In 2001, federal prosecutors said the case was the first use of crackhouse laws against rave operators, who prosecutors said promote drug use by selling the paraphernalia.

Enforcing the ban was "in the public interest to save lives," U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said at a news conference on June 20. "I don't know how many kids are alive and walking around today because of this."

In August 2001, the agreement was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of rave participants and performers who used glowing masks and costumes in their performances.

The plaintiffs argued that the ban violated their constitutional rights.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Porteous agreed with the ACLU and ruled that the restrictions violated the First Amendment rights of rave participants.

But the appeals court said the lower court ruling "violated the principles of finality" of federal criminal procedures and the "principles of judicial restraint and the separation of powers."

"If the government wants to combat illegal substance abuse they shouldn't do it through some type of plea agreement that has a criminal defendant violating the general public's rights — the freedom of expression, or any right for that matter," said Joe Cook, the state director of the ACLU.

"We still believe that they should not ban inherently legal objects that are used in expressive communication because a few people use the same legal items to enhance the effects of an illegal substance," Cook said.

He said he feared the government would use more plea agreements to violate people's rights.

The plea agreement, announced in June 2001, came after prosecutors had the rave organizers and promoter indicted under federal laws aimed at shutting down crack houses.

Indicted were Robert Brunet, 37, of Metairie; his brother, Brian Brunet, 33, of Tampa, Fla.; and promoter James Estopinal, 32, of New Orleans.

The plea agreement protected the Brunets and Estopinal from criminal charges. Their company, Barbeque of New Orleans, pleaded guilty to the crackhouse violation, was fined $100,000 and agreed to ban the supposedly drug-related items from future raves. The company leased a downtown theater to hold the parties.

According to federal prosecutors, between December, 1997, and March, 2000, more than 70 people overdosed on drugs at the club, called the State Palace Theater, and one 17-year-old died.

The appeals court noted that drug abuse at the club appeared to decrease after the organizers implemented restrictions


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: act; agents; bid; constitution; corrupt; crack; dea; drugs; federal; firstamendment; house; lose; on; overturn; party; ravegoers; restrictions; some; thugs; to; violation; war; wodlist
its goingto get worse before it gets better now that the judge ruled that they can use plea bargians to get around the constitution

a drug war carol

1 posted on 06/23/2003 1:37:11 PM PDT by freepatriot32
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To: freepatriot32
...memories...
2 posted on 06/23/2003 1:39:25 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP
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To: *Wod_list
Calling all dopers...
3 posted on 06/23/2003 1:48:54 PM PDT by newgeezer (Where there is demand, there will ALWAYS be supply to meet it. Thus, the supply-side WOD fails.)
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To: freepatriot32
"can be enforced although it bans legal playthings like giant pacifiers"

all the while our borders remain wide open for terrorists. But those dastardly giant pacifiers are going down!! (sarcasm off)

4 posted on 06/23/2003 1:50:42 PM PDT by KantianBurke (The Federal govt should be protecting us from terrorists, not handing out goodies)
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To: freepatriot32
It amazes me that the government can ban things like PACIFIERS and GLOW STICKS from a party simply because some people use them to "enhance" their drug trips (translation: when you're wasted, they're neat to look at) and yet I can still buy a "tobacco" pipe with built in resin brush or a pack of ZigZags from the local Quickie Mart and nobody bats an eye. The drug laws in this country make no sense!
5 posted on 06/23/2003 1:52:14 PM PDT by Arthalion
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To: freepatriot32
The government really didn't ban the otherwise legal items. As part of this company's settlement, it agreed to not have those "things" around. Another club can still have them, though the Feds will be looking at those places as potential drug dens, because the Feds regard them as "paraphernalia" associated with illegal drug activities.

If the Feds started arresting people and making similar plea agreements with even a hint that there was a pattern, then the plantiff have a very good case ($$$) of misconduct.

I don't see the slippery slope yet, though it could be just around the corner. (To mix a metaphor)
6 posted on 06/23/2003 2:24:22 PM PDT by playball0 (Fortune favors the bold)
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To: freepatriot32; jmc813
plea agreement that has a criminal defendant violating the general public's rights

It's a silly@ssed restriction---but the general public has no "right" to do anything in particular on the defendant's property.

7 posted on 06/23/2003 2:27:25 PM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
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To: Wolfie; vin-one; WindMinstrel; philman_36; Beach_Babe; jenny65; AUgrad; Xenalyte; Bill D. Berger; ..
WOD Ping
8 posted on 06/23/2003 2:49:01 PM PDT by jmc813 (After two years of FReeping, I've finally created a profile page. Check it out!)
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To: jmc813
Sooooo...question.

What do you think about Ecstacy? I know a few people who use it, some regularly. They don't give an unbiased view.

What do ya'll think?
9 posted on 06/23/2003 2:50:53 PM PDT by Cathryn Crawford (I'm not prejudiced - I hate everybody equally.)
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To: Cathryn Crawford
What do ya'll think?

I think that it has killed several people, mostly young people, who were under the impression that it was a 'safe' drug. It is not the worst drug out there, but its a LOT more dangerous than marijuana even though a lot of young folks think of it in the same category.
10 posted on 06/23/2003 2:55:02 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: Cathryn Crawford
I've never tried it myself. A girl I know with used to use it quite a bit and, despite still smoking a lot of pot to this day, she will absolutely never use ecstacy again.

Her reasoning is that when you use it, it's the best feeling and mood you've ever had. However, the more you use it, the bigger your tolerance gets, and it becomes quite depressing to realize that you will probably never be as happy sober as you were when you first started using X.

11 posted on 06/23/2003 2:58:05 PM PDT by jmc813 (After two years of FReeping, I've finally created a profile page. Check it out!)
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To: Arthalion
Dear Abby,

When my childern were young I provided them with drug paraphernallia in the form of pacifiers and glow sticks.

Am I a bad parent?

Worried in NC.
12 posted on 06/23/2003 2:58:44 PM PDT by Rebelbase (........The bartender yells, "hey get out of here, we don't serve breakfast!")
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To: freepatriot32
Isn't a rave at it's core illegal trespassing and destruction of private property.
13 posted on 06/23/2003 3:02:39 PM PDT by Paul C. Jesup
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To: Arkinsaw
Most people who die did not take Ecstasy (MDMA). They take something else. Which is why harm reduction is so important and why AMBER is such a shitty law. You are almost insuring that more kids are going to die. Also, club owners are going to stop selling water. More deaths from dehydration. Way to go GUBMINT MORONS.
14 posted on 06/23/2003 3:03:11 PM PDT by jayef
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To: Cathryn Crawford
Regular use of ecstasy is not a good idea. Most responsible users enjoy it more and regulate its potential harm through monthly or quarterly (better) use. There are also ways to mitigate the negative effects of ecstasy. Knowing how it works is key to responsible use.
15 posted on 06/23/2003 3:06:19 PM PDT by jayef
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To: jmc813
I've heard that it is the ultimate high. Better than anything. I've never taken it, either, but then again - I've never really done anything that would be classified as "drugs", thus my ignorance. :-)
16 posted on 06/23/2003 3:45:17 PM PDT by Cathryn Crawford (I'm not prejudiced - I hate everybody equally.)
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To: Cathryn Crawford
The problem is not that ecstasy is inhererenty dangerous, it's the stuff being sold as ecstacy. Like all illegal drugs, it really is caveat emptor. My own take is that most drugs are not illegal because they're dangerous, they're dangerous because they're illegal.

The biggest hazard of ecstacy is that it shuts down the body's cooling process so there is high risk of hyperthermia, which in Toronto was the cause of most ecstacy-related deaths during a wave of such incidents a few years back. Non-stop dancing, poor ventillation and lack of available water were all cited when those deaths were investigated (most raves here were underground, often held in unsuitable facilities). The deaths stopped when the city made it easier to operate all-ages rave parties legally and the police were ordered to crack down on the raves being held in unsafe venues.

17 posted on 06/23/2003 5:18:07 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Everyone knows you can't have a successful conspiracy without a Rockefeller)
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To: Cathryn Crawford
There's a terrific article about MDMA (Ecstacy) at http://www.reason.com/0201/fe.js.sex.shtml
18 posted on 06/23/2003 5:22:32 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Everyone knows you can't have a successful conspiracy without a Rockefeller)
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To: Squawk 8888
I hadn't heard that MDMA could cause a shut down of the body's cooling process. Where did you see this?
19 posted on 06/23/2003 8:47:10 PM PDT by jayef
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To: jayef
I've never heard anything about it affecting the body's cooling system. It is, however, a stimulant, all stimulants raise body temperature to some degree. Couple that with non-stop fast-paced physical acitivty (dancing) and a crowded venue with little hydration available, and you have the recipe for heatstroke.

Watch Out For Heat Stroke

20 posted on 06/24/2003 5:35:00 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Paul C. Jesup
Isn't a rave at it's core illegal trespassing and destruction of private property.

No, the raves I've heard of take place with the permission of the property owner (and may involve paid admission, though I'm not sure about that).

21 posted on 06/24/2003 6:39:58 AM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
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To: Cathryn Crawford
I've never really done anything that would be classified as "drugs"

Never had an alcoholic beverage of any sort?

22 posted on 06/24/2003 6:40:50 AM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
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To: MrLeRoy
I've heard different.
23 posted on 06/24/2003 6:52:04 AM PDT by Paul C. Jesup
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To: Paul C. Jesup
No, the raves I've heard of take place with the permission of the property owner

I've heard different.

From who?

Last spring, the Chicago City Council decided "to crack down on wild rave parties[... "]. Taking a dim view of such goings-on, the city council passed an ordinance threatening to jail building owners or managers who allowed raves to be held on their property. - http://www.reason.com/0201/fe.js.sex.shtml

24 posted on 06/24/2003 6:55:26 AM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
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To: MrLeRoy
Whenever I heard about a rave, be it in a newpaper, on tv, or on the internet, it almost always dealt with someone illegally breaking into someone's private property, throwing a party and leaving a mess for the owners to clean-up.

But since I'm from Georgia, things might work differently in Chicago.

25 posted on 06/24/2003 10:00:48 AM PDT by Paul C. Jesup
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To: MrLeRoy
Never had an alcoholic beverage of any sort?

That's a loaded question, considering my age.

Yes, I have.

26 posted on 06/24/2003 10:51:41 AM PDT by Cathryn Crawford (I'm not prejudiced - I hate everybody equally.)
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To: Cathryn Crawford
I've never really done anything that would be classified as "drugs"

Never had an alcoholic beverage of any sort?

Yes, I have.

Then you were mistaken---you HAVE used a drug.

27 posted on 06/24/2003 2:15:05 PM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
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To: MrLeRoy
Then you were mistaken---you HAVE used a drug.

Well, don't tell my parents.

28 posted on 06/24/2003 2:20:30 PM PDT by Cathryn Crawford (I'm not prejudiced - I hate everybody equally.)
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