Pubdate: Tue, 19 Nov 2002
Source: Racine Journal Times, The (WI)
Copyright: 2002, The Racine Journal Times
Author: Robert Sharpe


The controversial raid on a Racine rave is part of a larger nationwide 
crackdown on events that feature electronic music. Waging war against the 
latest youth subculture won't protect kids from the harmful effects of 
ecstasy, in fact driving raves underground will only increase the dangers.

Studies on long-term effects of ecstasy are inconclusive, but we do know 
that ecstasy can be deadly in the short-term if users are unaware of the 
risks. With over one in ten high school seniors trying ecstasy, it's 
imperative that today's teenagers are made aware of these risks.

Many youths don't take "just say no" school-based programs seriously, 
doubting the validity of their information. What's needed is reality-based 
drug education that promotes the ideal of abstinence while providing a 
fallback strategy of honest, science-based education for teenagers who say 
maybe, sometimes or yes.

The good news is the short-term risks of ecstasy are preventable. The bad 
news is that Congress is now pushing legislation that would penalize dance 
clubs that provide life-saving harm reduction education and water designed 
to prevent ecstasy-related heatstroke, a potentially life-threatening concern.

Sacrificing more children at the altar of the failed drug war is not in 
America's best interest. If Congress is truly concerned about adolescents 
using ecstasy, it will vote down anti-rave legislation that outlaws the 
dissemination of reality-based drug education at venues where it's needed most.

To learn more about the Senate's RAVE act please visit:

Robert Sharpe

Program Officer, Drug Policy Alliance Washington, DC 
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