Naked City

Weed Watch

Naked City

Those wacky feds are at it again. According to the Drug Reform Coordination Network, two days before the Nov. 15 Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards banquet, sponsored by the Oregon chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, an Oregon Drug Enforcement Administration agent penned a letter to the manager of a Portland Doubletree Hotel -- where the event was to take place -- waving around the language of the RAVE Act in an attempt to scare the hotel into canceling the NORML event. The "Reducing Americans Vulnerability to Ecstasy" Act, authored by Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, and signed into law this spring, amends the so-called "crack house statute" (also by Biden), making it possible for the government to prosecute any person who makes available any property for any purpose, if drugs -- even those held by a third party -- are found on the premises during the event. Earlier this year -- in the act's first real application -- a Montana DEA agent used the RAVE Act to scare venue operators into canceling a June 10 fundraising event sponsored by Montana NORML.

And although Biden has said he hadn't intended for the RAVE legislation to be used to violate the First Amendment, it appears that's exactly how the DEA likes to use it. According to the DRCNet, on Nov. 13 Oregon DEA Agent Ken Magee wrote a letter to Doubletree hotel managers who were hosting the Oregon NORML event, asking if the hotel intended to "knowingly permit ... the illegal possession, conspiracy to possess or to aid and abet the possession of marijuana?" Not surprisingly, the Doubletree canceled the event -- at least until Oregon NORML teamed up with the ACLU and threatened first the hotel and then the DEA with a breach of contract and a First Amendment lawsuit. According to DRCNet, the hotel and NORML struck a compromise: Oregon NORML agreed to can its planned "Beautiful Bud Award" and the hotel agreed to allow the event.

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    News briefs from Austin, the region, and elsewhere.

    Naked City

    Wal-Mart and South River City Citizens deal to preserve Blunn Creek.

    Naked City

    Federal judge Sam Sparks rules in favor of Lacresha Murray lawsuit against Travis Co. DA's office.
  • Naked City

    The Texas Campaign for the Environment uncovers an illegal computer dump in Northeast Austin.

    Naked City

    Steve Wolens and Teel Bivins join the queue exiting the Legislature.

    Naked City

    Texas A&M decides to avoid affirmative action in admissions, raising ire from minority lawmakers.

    Naked City

    Boxed out

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More drug law reform
Reefer Madness
Reefer Madness
Election roundup

Jordan Smith, Nov. 17, 2006

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

drug law reform, Weed Watch, RAVE Act, Joe Biden, NORML, DRCNet

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle