We’ve all heard about the nebulous R.A.V.E. act and it’s widely understood to be the reason why drug safety at dance music events is virtually non-existent in the United States. Now, Dede Goldsmith, mother of Shelley Goldsmith who passed away in 2013 from heatstroke while attending an electronic event, has urged Vice President Joe Biden to revisit the R.A.V.E. act in hopes of preventing loss as she and her family have had to endure. As a result of Goldsmith’s efforts, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is reviewing her request to amend the R.A.V.E. act.
The acronym R.A.V.E. stands for Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability To Ecstasy act, and since its inception in 2003, the legislation has allowed officials broader jurisdiction when it comes to electronic dance music culture. In today’s climate, with music festivals, and one-off events taking place on such a grand scale, the antiquated legislation is only inhibiting the safety of attendees, rather than preserving it.
With the current R.A.V.E. act in place, if an event offers drug education or drug testing on-site, the organizers are nearly guaranteed to face criminal prosecution, have their insurance pulled, or deal with any number of complications.
It’s an unfortunate fact that most major festivals will result in hospitalizations or fatalities, but these tragedies can be almost entirely prevented given proper legislation that actually takes a proactive step towards harm reduction. Click here to learn more about Dede Goldsmith’s activism, and learn more about her petition to amend the R.A.V.E. act.