This years Democratic primary will see 24 candidates running to face Trump in 2020. Though there are several notable names who could gain enough votes, one of the most likely people to reach this goal is Joe Biden. This could certainly mean well for those who want to see Trump out of office. It could also mean there could be a larger fight for those who advocate for increased harm reduction practices at festivals.
Business Insider revealed a C-Span clip of a hearing with the former Vice President from 2001. In his days as a Senator of Delaware, Biden cracked down on drugs for his entire 36 year tenure. At the time of this clip, Biden was talking up the Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstacy(RAVE) act, a law that criminalizes events that allow the use of MDMA as well as any sort of party at the event that may encourage the use of it. In the clip, he has this to say regarding his feelings on promoters:
“If I were governor of my state or the mayor of my town, I would be passing new ordinances relating to stiff criminal penalties for anyone who holds a rave, the promoter, the guy who owns the building, I would put the son of a gun in jail, I would change the law.”
This law has greatly reduced the efforts of organizations like DanceSafe, an organization that sets up booths at various festivals to help educate people about the negative effects of drugs and offers test samples to avoid the use of dangerous substances. This and many other organizations are praised by attendees and promoters alike, with Shambhalla Festival’s trusted harm reduction organization ANKORS helping to keep a high record of zero deaths on site.
Though a man who holds these ideals would be a huge threat to Dance Music events today, that quote was from more than a decade and a half ago. Not only that, but there is a wave of new data that supports today’s harm reduction practices as well as the several measures promoters are making to increase a medical presence at their events. Armed with this, the Amend the Rave Act has a good fighting chance of having our potential future administration take a better look at the state of festivals today.