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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Fucking Ridiculous  
From Drug Policy Alliance:

Last year our supporters helped raise attention to an outrageous abuse of power in Racine, Wisconsin, where hundreds of music fans were ticketed for being in a crowded nightclub where a few people used drugs. Those ticketed had no drugs on them. The police didn’t even have any evidence that they had ever used drugs. Their only “crime” was dancing at a nightclub where other people who used drugs were arrested. Although only three drug arrests were made, police issued citations to 445 innocent attendees with a penalty of $968 each for being "patrons of a disorderly house." Thanks to a public outcry from people like you, work by the Drug Policy Alliance, and an ACLU lawsuit, the citations were ultimately dismissed.

Now, it has happened again; this time in Flint, Michigan. On Saturday the local police raided a popular nightclub, Club What’s Next, and ticketed music fans who were attending a dance night known as “Getting Lucky” (the DJs included Halluci-Nate, Sparkimus Prime, White Rabbit, Captain Cheddar and California's Dj Primo.) While some people were arrested for possessing or selling illegal drugs, most people were ticketed for “frequenting a drug establishment,” a misdemeanor offense.

That’s right. In Flint, Michigan (and many other cities) if you go out dancing on a Saturday night and the police happen to arrest other people at the club for drugs, you could be charged with a drug crime even though you had nothing to do with drugs. These innocent party-goers now face up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. They also face a criminal record with all the legal and social barriers that brings. Several people at the club that night told us club-goers were also subjected to strip searches, including full cavity searches – even though they had nothing to do with drugs. Imagine the police walking into your favorite bar or nightclub and making you submit to a strip search for no reason! Imagine spending 90 days in jail or paying a $500 fine for dancing!

Speak out against this abuse of power now.