New bill to make bands liable for potsmoking fans!

Discussion in 'Cannabis and Marijuana' started by EllisDTripp, May 26, 2004.

  1. EllisDTripp

    EllisDTripp Green Secessionist


    Promoters, Vendors Could Also Face Fines, Jail for Audience Substance Abuse

    So you're at a music show, let's say Dave Matthews Band, when the unmistakable smell of marijuana wafts your way.

    It's a scenario familiar to people who attend concerts regularly; there's always somebody in the crowd who sneaks an illegal substance past security.

    Under the terms of an anti-drug bill being considered by Congress, Dave Matthews, his band, the show promoter, the bartender, and even the guy who sells T-shirts could all be fined or jailed for that fan's joint.

    The bill, known as The CLEAN-UP Act, has alarmed concert promoters, musicians, deejays and nightclub owners across the nation. As the summer concert season swings into high gear, they're fretting about the bill, which they describe as an overly broad piece of legislation that could put them out of business and strangle live music.

    "It is pretty scary to think I could end up in jail for somebody ( using illegal drugs ) at one of my shows," said Santa Fe promoter James Lenfestey, who has brought acts like Ozomatli, Brave Combo and Steve Earle to venues in the capital in the past year. "I am just putting on a show, man. I try to do so in safe and secure environments, but making me responsible for the activities of 300, 800 or 3,000 other people? Please."

    The bill, officially known as H.R. 834, is so controversial that small promoters like Lenfestey and gigantic ones like Clear Channel are, for once, on the same side of an issue.

    "We are watching the legislation closely, as we are concerned it may hold companies that present live entertainment accountable for the behavior of individuals," said Michael Ruthig, vice president of national public relations for Clear Channel.

    The ACLU and trade groups representing bars, nightclubs and arena managers have sent letters to Congress warning that the CLEAN-UP Act threatens free speech and business owners.

    124 Co-Sponsors

    The CLEAN-UP Act was introduced last year by U.S. Rep. Doug Ose, a California Republican, to fight the country's growing methamphetamine problem. The bill would provide $60 million in federal money for cleaning up the toxic waste left by meth labs, $31 million for education and treatment of meth addicts, and additional funds for the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Department of Justice.

    The provision making promoters and musicians liable for their customers' drug use is contained farther down in the bill, in section 305.

    "Most of the bill is a good bill," said Bill Piper, associate director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based group lobbying for drug policy reform. "This one provision is problematic."

    The CLEAN-UP Act has a good shot at being approved by the House, Piper said, because 124 lawmakers from both parties have signed on as co-sponsors. Among the supporters are two New Mexico congressional representatives: U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, a Republican, and U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, a Democrat.

    Opponents worry that Ose, who is not running for re-election this fall, may try to attach the bill to a popular piece of legislation and force it through the House as the final act of his congressional tenure.

    "If he does that, there's not much we can do to stop it," Piper said.

    Megan Taormino, Ose's press secretary, did not return phone calls seeking comment. Nor did Ose's legislative director, Bert English.

    Aiming to Amend

    But both of the bill's New Mexico co-sponsors say that, after hearing from constituents, they believe the bill -- specifically the section regarding drug use at live music shows -- is flawed.

    "The provision is unduly broad and unfairly targets professional promoters of legitimate entertainment events," said Glen Loveland, Udall's press secretary, in an e-mail.

    In a letter to constituents last month, Wilson said she thought Section 305 was too loosely worded and would punish the innocent along with the guilty. "I still strongly support the main elements of the bill to address ( the illegal drug distribution ) problem, but this paragraph does need cleaning up," she wrote.

    Neither Wilson nor Udall is dropping co-sponsorship for the bill, because both feel the good of H.R. 834 outweighs the bad. They say they also believe the problematic portion of the bill can be reworded or dropped as it wends its way through the maze of House subcommittees.

    "We will be more effective at attempting to amend the bill as a co-sponsor," Loveland said.

    A second, similar bill, The Ecstasy Awareness Act, targets the promoters of raves and electronica music shows and makes them liable for drug use at their events. It's stirring fewer worries among concert promoters because, with just seven co-sponsors, it has little chance of being approved by Congress.

    That doesn't make Austin-based electronica deejay D:Fuse feel any better.

    He's been speaking out against both pieces of legislation at shows across the country, and last month he did a benefit show for the Drug Policy Alliance at the Santa Fe nightclub Swig.

    "We're not advocating drug use, but let's get real, it's everywhere in society," D:Fuse said. "This is draconian legislation that is really about taking everybody's freedom away."
  2. Velouria

    Velouria Member

    Wow, it looks like the government has found a way to ruin concerts too. My friends are in a band that plays at a lot of clubs and is this is passed it is going to majorly affect them.
  3. just smoke up before you go to the concert, before you enter the arena.
  4. BigBong

    BigBong Member

    that might work if i actually stayed high longer then 45 mins to an hour..
  5. purcolekraze

    purcolekraze Member

    Why would the banad be held responsible? This is just a way for hte government to make more money. If marijuana was just legalized then we wouldn't face any of these problems and the government would hvae so much more money!
  6. Yes! More Control Over Our Lives!!!
  7. seamonster66

    seamonster66 discount dracula

    Liable?! What are the damages assosciated with smoking pot?

    I hardly go to actual "concerts" anyway, too big.

    Guess people will have to switch to harder drugs because pot is just too smelly and detectable.
  8. Velouria

    Velouria Member

    Riiiight. Then I can be high for about 5 whole songs! I think not...
  9. seamonster66

    seamonster66 discount dracula

    Start eating pot...brownies would be easy to sneak in, and last a lot longer anyway.

    Or be like me and shoot up 4 loads of elephant tranquilizer and forget the whole thing ever happened.
  10. twoseeeyes

    twoseeeyes Member

    The government will never learn that you can't keep drugs away from people.

    They make bullshit bills like this, and invest in expensive technology in the borders to keep "narco-terrorists" away.

    The thing is the majority of concerts already perform searches, especially for indoor venues. Now to make them accountable for patrons actions like ludacris.
  11. "Land of the free"...WHAT A CROCK OF SHIT. We are constantly being bombarded with laws and other policies that revoke our liberties here and there. LOL...the police would look like the biggest cocksuckers if at a Grateful Dead show they come on stage...arrest Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, etc. and when they ask "Why?"...they point at some guy in the audience smoking a joint. America is so fucked up...LEGALIZE POT FOR CHRIST SAKES!!!!
  12. bertrose

    bertrose Member

    thats why im planning on leaving US for colleges in Canada then when i get out, im moving overseas where i don't have to take any of this shit! USA is the most hated country by citizens, because they make these STUPID laws, AND by other nations because we get involved like that unpopular kid in recesss that annoyly finds his way into a conversation out of completely nowhere, lol
  13. WayfaringStranger

    WayfaringStranger Corporate Slave #34

    ignorance and facism. like everywhere else, only that in america its legal and encouraged.
  14. PurpleGel

    PurpleGel Senior Member

    incredible.... a law that would punish one or two people for the uncontrollable behavior of a thousand others. wow.... i have a difficult time even comprehending the degree of stupidity behind this idea. i want to know WHO came up with such - i think this would be an appropriate word choice - blasphemy. again, i am utterly stunned with disbelief.
  15. RedStar

    RedStar Member

    as absurd as this idea is, it seems par for the course in this present administration of diminished freedoms. i wonder how much more it can go on before we finally decide that we've been regulated quite enough.

  16. Ocean Byrd

    Ocean Byrd Artificial Energy

    That tears it, I'm fucking fed up with the US and its ignorant hordes. I've only gone to one concert in my life, and I didn't smoke then; I'd be missing out on something I've wanted to do for several years now if this actually happens.

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