On May 30th the DEA in Billings, Montana used the RAVE Act to shut down a
medical marijuana benefit concert hosted by the local MSU/Billings
NORML/SSDP chapter. The benefit concert was intended to raise funds for an
upcoming medical marijuana ballot initiative in the state. This
unprecedented threat of enforcement marks the first time that the government
has used this legislation to target events they deem politically unpopular.

A local DEA agent approached the venue management just hours before the
benefit and reported that they could be fined $250,000 if anyone smoked
marijuana during the planned benefit. This rogue agent was also kind enough
to leave a copy of the RAVE Act with the management. After consulting with
their attorney, they understandably felt that they could not risk their
business and consequently cancelled the show. The local NORML chapter also
lost several hundred dollars spent on radio spots promoting the show, not
realizing the DEA would be one of the lucky listeners.

Promoters of the fundraiser attested to the fact that the same bands have
played at the same location on previous occasions without problems or
federal government interference. Local concert goers were shocked to see
the feds use their authority to shut down a small gathering intended to
raise money for a good cause. The incident is believed to be the first time
the law has been used to prohibit a public event since it was enacted in
April.

The RAVE Act (A.K.A. the Illicit Drug Proliferation Act) was first
introduced last year by Senator Biden (D-DE); but after severe opposition
and two co-sponsors dropped off the legislation, it was stalled until this
session when Biden managed to attach it to the so-called "Amber Alert" bill.
These questionable provisions became law without public debate or an actual
vote in Congress.

The RAVE Act gives the federal government the power to prosecute business
owners and event organizers if they make their property available for "the
purpose of manufacturing, distributing, or using any controlled substance."
This overly broad and overly vague law applies to "any place," including
bars and nightclubs, hotels, apartment buildings, and homes. NORML fears
that this vague law will soon be used to target much larger political
rallies like the Seattle Hempfest, the Boston Freedom Rally, and even the
annual national NORML conference.

It's your responsibility to make sure this type of persecution does not
continue!

NORML needs your help right now, to make sure that these actions do not go
unchecked! NORML needs donations to legally challenge and publicize such an
outrageous violation of our previous First Amendment. Frankly put, with a
law on the books like the newly passed RAVE Act and the DEA interpreting it
to mean shutting down First Amendment-protected events like rallies, voter
drives, conferences, seminars, concerts and fundraisers - NORML (and all
drug law reform groups) are in jeopardy.

With this kind of obvious threat at hand, please:

1) Donate to NORML or the NORML Foundation right now at:
http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3378

2) Immediately Contact these government officials and the media:
a. DEA
http://capwiz.com/norml2/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=2562001

b. Your members of Congress
http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=2561001&type=CO <http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=2561001&amp;type=CO>

c. Send an op-ed to your local and national media
http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=2561501&type=ME <http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=2561501&amp;type=ME>

Right now, NORML is spearheading the response to this injustice by working
with groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and Drug Policy Alliance
on a potential lawsuit to enjoin the RAVE Act as unconstitutional. Other
allies such as SSDP, DRCNet, and MPP have all voiced their outrage over this
incident and NORML will continue to work with their networks of supporters
to try and repeal the RAVE Act.

Help NORML prevent future attempts to squash free speech and trample the
First Amendment. Use the URL below to donate to NORML's legal defense
efforts. The overzealous enforcement of unjust laws cannot be tolerated!
http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3378

For more online information about the "RAVE Act," please visit:
http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/action/

Thanks for your immediate help and donation,


R. Keith Stroup
Executive Director and Founder of NORML

Please play the role of a modern Paul Revere and let a like-minded friend or
family member know about this unbelievable First Amendment violation.
Forward this alert to your friends and family today!