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Offlinesomebodyelse
In_Is_Out

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 296
Last seen: 13 years, 4 months
Your Right to Party & the New Prohibition
    #1670868 - 06/29/03 05:01 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

[hope I'm not double posting]

The Right to Party

By Neal Pollack, The Brooklyn Rail June 12, 2003

A few years ago, when I was a reporter in Chicago, I did a story on a
phenomenon I called "The New Prohibition." The city, for various
reasons, was shutting down neighborhood bars. In poor black
neighborhoods, taverns were the targets of moralistic church crusaders.
In gentrifying neighborhoods, they were the b?te noire of noise-averse
yuppies. What was wrong with Mayor Daley? I asked. Didn't he want
Chicago to be fun anymore?

The article garnered a bit of local attention. I appeared on an episode
of a nightly public-affairs show. For once, a piece of mine actually got
a few letters to the editor. And I decided to take it further. I did a
local NPR radio commentary in which I called, tongue-in-cheekly, for a
new political party, "The Party Party," that would campaign to make
Chicago the freewheeling town I imagined it had once been.

Oh, how na?ve I was then, and how foolish I feel now! Those little
tavern raids and precinct vote-dry initiatives were nothing, a little
internecine tap-dance, compared to the assault on fun currently being
waged by the federal government. Our right to party is being attacked by
forces far more powerful, more sinister, and more organized than Mayor
Daley's liquor-law enforcement bureaucracy. Everything fun about America
is under serious threat.

Let's review the evidence of the last few months.

In late February, DEA and Department of Justice officials arrested 55
people and seized thousands of dollars of drug paraphernalia during
"Operation Pipe Dreams." The arrests mainly targeted online bong
dealers, who attorney general John Ashcroft claimed had "invaded the
homes of families across the country without their knowledge." But also
included in the arrests were employees of several head shops in
Pittsburgh, where the investigation was centered. The feds even raided
the California home of Tommy Chong, who in mid-May pleaded guilty to
conspiring to sell drug paraphernalia. The most stunning quote from the
whole affair came from acting DEA chief John Brown, who said, "People
selling drug paraphernalia are in essence no different than drug
dealers. They are as much a part of drug trafficking as silencers are a
part of criminal homicide.''

The government is equating Tommy Chong with murderous criminals. Perhaps
next they'll haul in Rodney Dangerfield and the inflatable pilot from
Airplane! Something is wrong. Very wrong.

In March, Senator Joe Biden of Delaware managed to sneak the RAVE act
through as an attachment to a bill establishing a national warning
system about child abductions. RAVE stands for, amazingly, Reducing
Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy. But its main targets are concert
promoters and club owners, whom the act holds to an absurd standard.

According to the law, it is illegal to "manage or control any place,
whether permanently or temporarily, either as an owner, lessee, agent,
employee, occupant, or mortgagee, and knowingly and intentionally rent,
lease, profit from, or make available for use, with or without
compensation, the place for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing,
storing, distributing, or using a controlled substance."

This definition was derived from a 20-year-old federal law that
permitted raids on "crackhouses." The law is so broad that you could
have 10 people over for dinner, put on some loud music, and you've got
yourself a rave. If someone lights a joint at your "rave," and the
neighbors complain about the music, and the police are in a bad mood
that night, you face decades in prison. Suddenly everyone is a potential
drug criminal and it's doubly dangerous if there's dancing involved.

And this just in: In late May, a DEA agent in Montana threatened a venue
owner with a $250,000 fine, under the RAVE Act, if she hosted a joint
benefit for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
(NORML) and Students For Sensible Drug Policy. The event was canceled.
The RAVE Act has officially arrived.

Keep in mind that these are Democrats pushing these laws. This War On
Fun is not single-party. That said, the Republicans seem to have a
serious problem with sex. The federal government's financial commitment
to "abstinence education" reached a new high this year. When I say a new
high, I mean $120 million. This is not the sex education we received in
high school. According to federal guidelines for applying for abstinence
education grants, a federally funded program must, among other things,
teach "abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage as the expected
standard for all school age children," and that "a mutually faithful
monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected
standard of human sexual activity."

From personal experience, I will agree with certain tenets, such as the
fact that "drug use increases vulnerability to sexual advances," and I
cannot argue with the fact that "sexual activity outside of the context
of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical
effects," but is this really something that needs to be legislated? Can
you imagine being a teenager today in this context? Teen pregnancy and
STDs are a problem, for certain. But is the answer really organizations
like Pennsylvania's Silver Ring Thing, which, in exchange for $12 and a
pledge of abstinence until marriage, offers high-school students a
silver ring and a Bible? Sounds like a bad trade to me. Couldn't they at
least throw a couple of condoms into the gift pack, just to make sure?

Lest we think that these phenomena, which seem to be loosely linked, are
just the usual mix of anti-drug nonsense and hypocritical
fundamentalism, we should think again. Journalist Eric Schlosser, in his
excellent new book "Reefer Madness," drops the stunning statistic that
more than 20,000 Americans are in prison for marijuana-related "crimes."
But the current trend in policy goes far beyond that. Under the RAVE
act, you're guilty by association with marijuana smokers.

Abstinence education had a foothold during Bill Clinton's America, too,
but now there's an extra moral force, and lots more money, behind the
preaching. When Pennsylvania Rick Santorum made his controversial
remarks in April about not approving of homosexual "acts," he also said,
"the idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals'
wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have
rights because there are consequences to letting people live out
whatever wants or passions they desire. And we're seeing it in our society."

What is he talking about? What consequences? As far as I'm concerned,
that phrase, from a leading Republican Senator, is an official
government declaration of a War On Fun. What exactly would be Rick
Santorum's idea of a good party? One where nobody got drunk or high,
where nobody hooked up, and where nobody danced with abandon? Why, that
doesn't sound like a party. It sounds like church.

I've had enough.

This time, for real, I'm calling for the establishment of a Party Party,
or, at the very least, for a Party Party attitude. I'm issuing a call to
arms for those of us always in need of, as the great Jeff Spicoli once
said, tasty waves and a cool buzz. Of course there are many issues in
the world that are more pressing, and we should continue to press them.
But Saturday night eventually comes even for the most politically
committed. These are tense times. People want to loosen the steam valve
a little bit. They want to participate in culture outside of the
jurisdiction of federal "morality" educators. We don't want the
government telling us how to spend our free time, sussing out and
prosecuting casual drug users and harassing nightclub owners. And for
heaven's sake, give the kids some condoms.

Sex and drugs and live music make life great. These are the kinds of
things that were outlawed in Taliban-run Afghanistan. If they can't be
legal and easy in America, then I don't want to live here anymore. I
want to live in a place where drugs and sex are tolerated, where the
government provides a sane level of social services, where religion
isn't always threatening to take over the state. Amsterdam. It always
comes back to Amsterdam.

Americans, we have to party. It is our right. And we have to fight for
that right. Yes, you heard me. We have to show the moralizers that they
cannot win.

We have to fight for our right to party.

Neal Pollack is the author of "The Neal Pollack Anthology Of American
Literature" and "Beneath The Axis Of Evil." HarperCollins will publish
his first novel, "Never Mind the Pollacks," in September. He lives in Au


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Offlinechamp
pudding pop
 User Gallery

Registered: 06/27/01
Posts: 787
Loc: unknown trashscape
Last seen: 2 months, 2 days
Re: Your Right to Party & the New Prohibition [Re: somebodyelse]
    #1671015 - 06/29/03 08:34 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I hate to tell you, but there are some disturbing anti-party trends in Amsterdam, too! The city council is "concerned" with sexual overtones in bars and clubs, smoking is allegedly going to be banned in bars and coffeeshops at the start of 2004, there have been big mean drug raids on discos and other disturbing shit. The Dutch call it "vertrutting" which means something like "im-prude-ing" or "imbitchening" or something, I don't know the exact translation. Any Dutchies online, what's happening?


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Offlineatomikfunksoldier
T'was born oftrue in the yearof the cock!

Registered: 04/07/03
Posts: 1,500
Loc: a human-infested anthill
Last seen: 13 years, 2 months
Re: Your Right to Party & the New Prohibition [Re: champ]
    #1671075 - 06/29/03 09:51 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

thats why vancouver is the new marijuana capital of the universe (according to high times, so....a pretty incedental label). Because canadians like to party! yeehaaa! prostitution is legal here too!

party time! fuckers!


--------------------
enjoy the entertaining indentity i have constructed for you while you can.


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OfflineJameZTheNewbie
The Mahatma OfZalu

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 736
Loc: pass the gates of hell 2 ...
Last seen: 1 year, 10 months
Re: Your Right to Party & the New Prohibition [Re: atomikfunksoldier]
    #1673452 - 06/30/03 09:24 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

i agree though that the drug culture should be represented and not discrimnated against.


--------------------
Mice have feelings


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Anonymous

Re: Your Right to Party & the New Prohibition [Re: JameZTheNewbie]
    #1673459 - 06/30/03 09:27 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

My mom is for prohibition. Her argument is: Drugs are dangerous and they will kill you!


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,727
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: Your Right to Party & the New Prohibition [Re: ]
    #1673465 - 06/30/03 09:32 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

babytripster said:
My mom is for prohibition. Her argument is: Drugs are dangerous and they will kill you!



Your mother is a wise woman. *
After all, look at what drugs did to your brain. Quit now while you still have a few left.


* and a good piece of ass. She swallows.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineStatic
Can you hear menow?

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 113
Last seen: 12 years, 10 months
Re: Your Right to Party & the New Prohibition [Re: somebodyelse]
    #1673471 - 06/30/03 09:38 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

According to the law, it is illegal to "manage or control any place,
whether permanently or temporarily, either as an owner, lessee, agent,
employee, occupant, or mortgagee, and knowingly and intentionally rent,
lease, profit from, or make available for use, with or without
compensation, the place for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing,
storing, distributing, or using a controlled substance."






Isn't this passing their job of law enforcement on to private citizens?
Couldn't the government be charged with this same thing as the "crime" is occurring within the US which they manage and control?
What is the difference between them "permitting it" and an individual "permitting it"?
If the government can not stop it how can a ordinary person with no real authority?


--------------------
Astronauts get all the tang they want.


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OfflineJameZTheNewbie
The Mahatma OfZalu

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 736
Loc: pass the gates of hell 2 ...
Last seen: 1 year, 10 months
Re: Your Right to Party & the New Prohibition [Re: Static]
    #1673495 - 06/30/03 10:04 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

static thats a good point


--------------------
Mice have feelings


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Anonymous

Re: Your Right to Party & the New Prohibition [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1673519 - 06/30/03 10:23 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I won't deny that drugs damaged my brain. But I have stopped for a year or so now. Maybe God will heal my tortured brain.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,727
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: Your Right to Party & the New Prohibition [Re: ]
    #1673522 - 06/30/03 10:25 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

babytripster said:
I won't deny that drugs damaged my brain. But I have stopped for a year or so now. Maybe God will heal my tortured brain.



No.... I'm afraid it's way too late.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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