My college roommate overdosed on E. She wasn’t at a rave. She was just a party girl at a nightclub, trying to numb the pain of a recent break up.
No one is saying drug abuse isn’t a scary problem that needs to be dealt with, but blaming the EDM scene for a few unfortunate kids, whose extent of drug education was probably nothing more than “just say no”, is grossly uniformed, and sloppy reporting. You’d think investigative journalists at The LA Times would be required to immerse themselves in a culture before writing an article about it.
Last weekend the 3 squares below released an article on the LA Times blog, essentially blaming Insomniac for deaths as a result of ecstasy overdose, and urging cities to rely less on income from raves in order to decrease the likelihood of drug related deaths. By this logic, we should also go back to prohibition, ban guns and outlaw cigarettes.
This set off a firestorm of backlash from the EDM community.
Dusty LA times completely missed the point of the criticism, and tried to defend its position by siting more detailed death statistics as a result of drug overdose at EDM events, followed by a series of emotional appeals to make an old idea seem relevant and newsworthy. As unfortunate as those deaths are, abstinence is the same obsolete solution that the conservatives have been using for decades to justify the war on sex, drugs, and now music. Has it helped?
“The War On Drugs Has Failed”, said a 19-member global commission in 2011. A 2008 study by Harvard economist Jeffrey A. Miron estimated that legalizing drugs would save U.S. taxpayers $76.8 billion a year—the kind of revenue that could make rehab, and mental healthcare free and accessible. Kaskade said it best: “Clearly, if the US Government hasn’t come up with the magic bullet to quell the problem of drugs in this country, it is not reasonable to expect an event promoter to pull this kind of trick out of his hat either. “
Maybe it’s time to come up with better ideas, instead of scapegoating the new kid on the block to beat the same dead horse.
Technological advances in music production, Internet and social media have catapulted EDM into the mainstream, in the same way that the electric guitar, amplifier, microphone, and the 45-rpm record propelled rock and roll in the 50s. The parallels are uncanny. There were haters then, and there are haters now.
Rong-Gong Lin II, Paul Pringle and Andrew Blankstein’s pathetic attempt at blaming drug deaths on EDM was shortsighted. Dance music isn’t growing because it provides a safe haven for drugs. It’s growing because provides escapism from a world that is increasingly harsher and more judgmental. EDM event organizers are making people happier by bringing fans from all over the world together, and providing a fun community that is full of love and acceptance. Something the LA Times should’ve looked into before pointing fingers at people who are doing more good for our society than harm.
- A fatal toll on concertgoers as raves boost cities’ income – latimes.com.
- Raves: Insomniac Posts Rebel Response To L.A. Times Ecstasy-Deaths Story At … 4:20 (blogs.laweekly.com)
- Kaskade, Insomniac to L.A. Times: Lay Off the Ravers (spin.com)
- Raves Equal Death By Drugs, Says L.A. Times: Electric Daisy Carnival Promoter Fights Back (923now.cbslocal.com)
- Effectiveness of War on Drugs Being Questioned | Treatment Solutions.