It has long been known to pretty much everyone that the war on drugs is failing. It’s not keeping drugs out of the hands of kids or out of our schools, it’s not keeping people out of jail but in fact keeping them in longer than most violent aggressors, and most importantly, it specifically targets those who need the most help.

For years and years, drugs have been commonly associated with raves. And why shouldn’t they have been? With bros wearing shirts saying “WHERE’S MOLLY” and attendees at EDC asking about their friend Lucy, it’s no surprise that people think what they do. However, it is high time to stop punishing those who make the choice to do drugs, and rather embrace the fact that it will happen and attempt to help them in the process.

There seems to be something that we’ve all forgotten, or perhaps, never took the time to know about. That is the Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy (RAVE) Act of 2003. Many people took issue with the act, most specifically, “many were concerned that these expansive definitions might permit the police to arrest and charge concert promoters under this law so long as glow sticks and bottled water were present.” This has had a direct consequence on festivals, promoters, and large EDM events that do not want to be associated with drugs so as to avoid liability. It is one of the hidden reasons we do not see testing stations, water stations, chill out areas and adequate medical staffing at every festival — it actively shields producers and promoters from liability.

According to edmtunes

Over the weekend, an award-winning sociologist by the name of Tammy L Anderson, PhD., said everything we were all already thinking about with regards to the RAVE Act. She presented research at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association entitled “Molly Deaths, and Why the Drug War Won’t Clean Up Rave Culture,” and it couldn’t be more correct. In case you’re not sure what I’m talking about, this will also explain why Diplo recently banned “kandi” at Mad Decent parties. The short answer is, once it’s your party, you’re liable if kids do drugs at your rave.

On the other hand, Canada is not subject to these antiquated laws and has taken the opportunity to go above and beyond the call of duty this year at Shambhala Music Festival. The festival does not even permit alcohol on the grounds, but they are cognizant of the fact that drugs will still make it in. This year, they had a station where you could take your pills/drugs/powders and have them tested to truly know if you got what you paid for. The great majority of the time, an individual will not take a drug that wasn’t what they thought they were buying, and that in the end saves lives. As Shaun Wilson, Shambhala’s security manager, said, “We’re not here to crash parties. We’re here to help people party safe.”