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ACLU claims civil liberties victory
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2002-02-14
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N - February 10, 2002

The American Civil Liberties Union is claiming a "major victory" for free speech rights after US District Judge G. Thomas Porteous "permanently blocked" federal agents from banning masks, pacifiers, and glow sticks at a New Orleans dance, "as part of its nationwide war against rave concerts". Judge Porteous said that while there's a legitimate government interest in curtailing illegal drug use, "the government cannot ban inherently legal objects that are used in expressive communication because a few people use the same legal item to enhance the effects of an illegal substance." He also said, "there is no conclusive evidence that eliminating the banned items has reduced the amount of ecstasy use at raves," and, "when the First Amendment right of Free Speech is violated by the Government in the name of the War on Drugs, and when that First Amendment violation is arguably not even helping in the War on Drugs, it is the duty of the Courts to enjoin the government from violating the rights of innocent people."

The ACLU filed a challenge to the policy in August 2001 after the Drug Enforcement Agency instructed the owners of a prominent New Orleans dance venue to ban face masks, glow sticks and pacifiers saying the items constituted "drug paraphernalia."

Related News from Mi2N:
» Citing Free Speech Rights, LA Court Rejects Government's Extremist Tactics In Culture War Against Raves


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