Whip That Crack!

What exactly is the "Crack House Law"? It's a federal statute that dates back to 1986, originally designed to combat the crack cocaine scourge. Listed under Title 21 of the U.S. Code, Section 856, it makes it unlawful to:

1) Knowingly open or maintain any place for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, or using any controlled substance;

2) Manage or control any building, room, or enclosure, either as an owner, lessee, agent, employee, or mortgagee, and knowingly and intentionally rent, lease, or make available for use, with or without compensation, the building, room, or enclosure for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, storing, distributing, or using a controlled substance.

Anyone found in violation of the statute "shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of no more than 20 years or a fine of not more than $500,000, or both, or a fine of $2,000,000 for a person other than an individual."

The "Ecstasy Prevention Act of 2001" was introduced last summer as Senate Bill 1208 "to combat the trafficking, distribution, and abuse of Ecstasy (and other club drugs) in the United States." The act calls for increased ecstasy-prevention education for youths and law enforcement agencies, as well as supplemental funding for studies of the drug. The act authorizes $15 million for fiscal year 2002, but it's Section 3, titled "Grants for Ecstasy Abuse Prevention" that has people worried:

"(A) ...the Administrator shall give priority to communities that have taken measures to combat club drug use, including passing ordinances restricting rave clubs, increasing law enforcement on Ecstasy, and seizing lands under nuisance abatement laws to make new restrictions on an establishment's use."

The full text of the "Crack House Law" can be found at: caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=21&sec=856.

The full text of the Ecstasy Prevention Act of 2001 can be found at: thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c107:S.1208:.

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