Letters to the Editor

From the week of March 1, 2001

Dustin Gabel

Law and ardor: I will be happy to see some sort of regulation for raves -- and I am saying this as a 21-year-old college student. My own private Halloween party was erroneously interpreted as a rave by a handful of people, and over 300 people showed up at my residence in a quiet neighborhood -- and that was even without fliers! Needless to say, the rave scene is way out of control, and something must be done about the kids who are attending these gatherings. I am appalled that there are sixteen-year-olds, and sometimes even younger kids, dabbling in drugs like Ecstasy. Not even five years ago, when I was their age, we couldn't even get ahold of wine coolers, much less designer drugs. The promoters of such events state that they are doing it "for the music," but I wonder if they are getting that message across to the kids. On several occasions I have been handed fliers on campus that are overly blatant in their insinuations regarding the "love drug."

It seems to me that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, or maybe they do and they are just turning the other way to make another almighty dollar.

Andrea Solano

A sobering experience: As a person currently involved in the rave scene, I was appalled at some things I read in Laura Bond's article. It seems that because a few kids are making poor personal choices, the entire subculture of partygoers is having to suffer greatly through society's hostile, misled attitudes. Raves have been around forever, as has Ecstasy. A person can take, buy and sell Ecstasy anywhere, not just at a rave. And people can have fun at a rave sober, if they're truly there for the musical experience. It does concern me when kids go only as an excuse to take drugs, because it ruins it for the rest of us. But it doesn't make sense to shut raves down without any consideration for how to maintain them better.

Think about other shows and concerts, such as the Up in Smoke tour -- a tour devoted to the use of marijuana, put on by musicians who sing songs about smoking weed, but it's legal, and perfectly okay in society's eyes. And what about dance clubs? They usually play some form of techno music, and they all sell alcohol -- which is a type of party drug. I want to make it clear that, yes, there is drug use at raves; it's part of the scene. But drugs are a part of life. They can be regulated, but they cannot be stopped. And I guarantee that shutting down the rave scene will do nothing to cut down on the use of Ecstasy. We all know that no matter what the law says, there will always be raves, just like drugs.

All we ask is that all ravers not be looked down on. Not all of us spend our nights sucking on pacifiers and zoning out. Some of us love the music and will go no matter what.

Name withheld on request

Mother knows best: Thanks for your enlightening story about the rave scene here in Colorado. As a mother of two teenage boys who have been going to raves since last spring, I thought it was good to have someone write about the current local controversy surrounding raves. I'm not naive about the drug connection at raves, but I really believe it's more about the music.

I avidly listen to techno and have my favorites. (Trance is still the best, and Oakenfold -- yes, I've bought tickets to see him at Club Next next month!) Personally, I like it a lot better than some of the hip-hop/rap stuff they used to listen to. Sure, the music is pounding electronic stuff, but the message is clearly P. L. U. R.!

I recently watched the Jerry Garcia bio on E!, and there are just so many parallels with the hippie scene and the rave scene. Back in the day, we were really naive about drugs, addiction and overdosing, of course, but the innocence about making this a better, happier place and the idea of having fun through music and dancing is the same. I've always been pretty up front with my boys about my concerns about drug use. They tell me that drugs are easy to get at raves, and they say they get asked what they are on, since they dance at raves all through the night into the morning. As far as I can tell (yes, I greet them and their friends when they arrive in the morning), there haven't been any incidents. They call when they are leaving the rave and usually come straight home.

I also want to mention Dance Safe. I've only read about them and know that they do not condone or promote abstinence, but they do actively inform kids at raves about effects, bad batches, how to deal with side effects, etc. Again, this reminds me of the '60s, where medical groups would provide the service to warn about and prevent "bad trips." I wish you could have included some info about this group since you did mention the DEA's local efforts.

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