HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Party now, prison later 


Concert promoters and club owners: Be very afraid. Your business is in danger thanks to a rider three U.S. senators tacked onto the federal Amber Alert bill, which became law April 10.

According to the bill, club owners and concert promoters can be fined or imprisoned if an audience member is found to be using drugs. It doesn't matter whether the promoter knows of the drug activity or even if he tries to prevent it. In fact, Congress first became alarmed about rave drug activity after a New Orleans club promoter, Donnie Estopinal, successfully fought his arrest under the federal crack-house statute.

"There's a lot of bad law made on sensational cases," says William McColl, director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Institute, a nonprofit organization working to promote new drug policies.

Nobody knows what might happen. "We don't know what kind of prosecutions we will get," McColl says.

It remains questionable whether overworked federal prosecutors will make time to investigate drug possession in clubs. Then again, the feds weren't too lenient on Estopinal, who assisted agents before he was arrested. "He wasn't doing drugs," McColl says. "He wasn't dealing drugs. He wasn't allowing drugs in his clubs. He was helping the DEA investigate drug dealers in his club."


Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 2, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation