Ten Questions With Terry Gotham: Dede Goldsmith, Amend The Rave Act Founder

(I was given the incredible honor of speaking to Dede Goldsmith, mother of Shelley Goldsmith, who died of heatstroke in Washington DC at a dance event. Mrs. Goldsmith is leading an army of artists, non-profits, volunteers & activists to Amend The Rave Act. Join ravelrie, NY DanceSafe, Stay Safe Seattle & I as we talk about her work!)
1. Can you tell us a little bit about Shelley & how she inspired you to begin this massively important campaign? Shelley was an amazing young person. She was full of life, ready to tackle the world’s injustices head on. From an early age, she viewed herself as a citizen of the world. Although active politically her whole life, (I worked for our local congressman for 28 years so she had little choice!) the events of 9/11 cemented her role as an activist for international peace through justice. Continue reading

Spice, Or What Happens When Frontier Capitalism & Psychopharmacology Collide

EgqnRypWhen you create a prison system so bad we regularly joke about forcible rape as a penalty, people really don’t like breaking the law. And because of that, certain people apparently will never smoke pot. They will however, smoke a whole lot of this stuff. I should know. Someone I lived with smoked it by the fist full. To explain why K2 or Spice is popular, we need to understand what cannabinoids, the things that get you “high” are. Because there are chemicals in your brain right now, that your brain makes, that are analagous to THC. That’s right, your brain can get you high any time you want. One of these endocannabinoids (literally “internal cannabinoids”) is called CB1, and it does…quite a bit.

So, this stuff is kind of bizarre, because a lot of the early ones, were just straight CB1 stimulating chemicals, sprayed on potpurri. Literally, someone got the idea to just take the test chemicals used in lab procedures to explore this chemical system & stimulate it directly. It’s such a perfect metaphor for both the the explosiveness of a “had an experience/want stronger version “behavioral cycle, but how our markets meet the needs of our consumers, no matter how complex. These different brands littered gas stations, delis and convenience stores all over the country, as they were legal, “not for consumption” and you got a gram or two for 20 bucks. Proof of exactly what can happen when profiteering combine with poorly constructed & implemented drug laws. The vast majority of the K2/Spice/Synthetic herb brands out there are largely unlabeled and have generated state bans as early as 2010.

If you’ve been playing along on these Friday posts, we’ve seen how drug laws force people to do drugs they’re not familiar with, to keep getting the same symptoms without penalty. People that have to take drug tests still want to get high, and the market will help them. We have no idea what the effects of smoking these chemicals, or the “plants” they’re being sprayed on, largely. But until trees are legal, there are going to be people who would prefer to use this instead of the real McCoy. This is one of the dozen insidious issues with the War on Drugs.  So let’s talk about this, 4:30 PM EST, using #DFFspice on Twitter & get more info on our #DrugFactFriday Pinboard.

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Amending The Rave Act Is Possible. Let’s Not Miss Our Chance.

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Halloween is upon us and with it, some of the largest parties of the season. To expand on what’s happening 4:30 PM (1:30 PM PST) during our #FestFriday discussion on Twitter, I wanted to explain one of the biggest problems in the dance community today, the RAVE Act. I’ve written about this extensively on a much larger blog, EDMTunes. The short story is, laws that were created to prosecute people who rented to crack dealers, were used to prosecute rave producers. Public comment on the laws and aggressive prosecution especially after tragic events essentially destroyed the EDM boom of the mid 2000’s. Any of us old enough to be keeping score can tell you about how certain clubs got obliterated, gangbusters style. NYC, DC, LA, you name it, nights were being ruined. This was done under the pretext of protecting children from unscrupulous dealers, and Joe Biden did his best to ensure that no one danced to hardstyle, happy hardcore or techno again.

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