When "music festival" really means "rave." Plus, how I lost respect for the San Manuel Indian Nation.

The Sheriff’s Deputy that spoke at last Friday’s Red Ribbon Week PTSA meeting spoke fast, since he had lots of ground to cover. We learned the effects of various drugs on the body, we heard which ones are abused the most in our community, and we saw examples of how students hide drugs at school

One of the most fascinating things I learned was that “music festival” is often a euphemism for “rave.” The Deputy said that when kids say they’re going to a music festival, it usually means they’re going to a rave. He described raves as having loud music, flashing lights, casual sex and lots of drugs. (Here’s the Urban Dictionary definition of a rave.) He said they’re often held in convention centers, warehouses or the desert, and any security that’s there can either be bought off so they ignore the drugs or is just concerned about weapons, not drugs.

Here’s an example of a “music festival” this weekend: 2009 Cypress Hill Smokeout Festival. It’s being held at the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, which is named for the San Manuel Indian Nation. The San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino is also a sponsor of SmokeOut, as are LA Weekly, MySpace and Jack in the Box. In case you have doubts that SmokeOut isn’t purely a music festival, here’s a screenshot of the homepage:

And don’t miss Saturday’s expert session: “For musicians, marijuana has long proved to be a source of creative inspiration. For listeners, music and marijuana is the perfect stoner cocktail. Smoke a joint, blunt or bong, and kick back and enjoy your favorite tunes.”

The Deputy also informed us that much of the marijuana consumed locally comes from legal medical dispensaries. He said that kids will go and tell a doctor (or should I put that in quotes?) that they have a headache or some other pain, and will be prescribed marijuana for it. They’ll then re-sell the marijuana at the school for a profit. If you’re not sure how this works, perhaps you can learn at the Medical Marijuana Expo at SmokeOut. Don’t worry about having difficulty finding a medical marijuana dispensary: this past Sunday’s NY Times article, “Los Angeles Prepares for Clash over Marijuana“, says that, “There are more marijuana stores here than public schools. Signs emblazoned with cannabis plants or green crosses sit next to dry cleaners, gas stations and restaurants.” For the record, I voted for legalizing marijuana for medical purposes here in California. I never imagined that it would be this unregulated, however, and that it could wind up in the hands of children.

Hopefully parents will understand what this really is before they let their kids attend. And if they do attend, hopefully they won’t drive while they’re high.

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7 Responses to “When "music festival" really means "rave." Plus, how I lost respect for the San Manuel Indian Nation.”

  1. Isn’t it stupid though? A child can’t get a prescription for alcohol. Are you saying kids can get prescriptions for pot? If that is the issue, then that merits attention. The pot thing is so overblown and ridiculous. There’s good reason to keep kids from drinking or smoking or being sent to war. That’s what concerns me, too. Oh, and congrats on NO Diet Coke In 29 DAYS!

    10/20/2009 at 7:27 pm
  2. Yes, apparently kids are getting prescriptions for pot, and then dealing it. But it pales in comparison to kids that take ecstasy, meth and heroin. We heard about them, too. :(

    Thanks re: Diet Coke. I found some great looseleaf tea that’s satisfying my hydration needs.

    10/20/2009 at 7:54 pm
  3. Ken #

    The Deputy also informed us that much of the marijuana consumed locally comes from legal medical dispensaries. He said that kids will go and tell a doctor (or should I put that in quotes?) that they have a headache or some other pain, and will be prescribed marijuana for it. They’ll then re-sell the marijuana at the school for a profit.

    I have to sound a respectful, but firm, note of skepticism about this. Is it happening at all? Probably. Are there a significant number of doctors freely handing out marijuana prescriptions? I very seriously doubt it. I’ve seen absolutely nothing in my practice (which includes defending a significant number of people on drug charges, as well as a significant number of doctors) to support it.

    I appreciate the hard work law enforcement officers do. I also don’t want my kids using drugs. But, to be frank, for as long as there has been a “War on Drugs,” law enforcement has been using programs like DARE to say anything necessary to terrify parents and kids about drugs, whether or not the information has a firm grounding in fact. I want to teach my kids to avoid drugs, but I also want to teach them critical thinking, even as to (or perhaps especially as to) things the government tells them.

    10/21/2009 at 8:08 am
  4. Mini #

    Wow. What a great post.

    Where should I start.

    If you have kids, pray hard. You can try as hard as you want and do all the right things, but in the end they will make their own choices. Know your limitations. I think I have already said it in the past.

    Now, if you are a really lucky parent, your kids will make the right choices, always. As for most of us, our kids may take a few detours here and there before they mature and wise up. Others will only learn the hard way after getting their butt kicked. And, unfortunately some will never learn until a tragedy comes upon them.

    Since I am subscribed to libertarian views, I am with Kathy in support of legalizing drugs. But I have never had any illusion about the results of such policies. Still, what other choices we have? Prohibition has never worked where there is demand for an illicit product. The infamous “war on drugs” resulted in a huge industrial complex of military, law enforcement, justice, attorneys, prisons, what have you. And of course, let’s not forget millions of young prisoners and rivers of blood that it has created, and in the end what do we have show fo it? More drugs, everywhere.

    It has also resulted in a wide profit margin, which created armies of corrupt politicians, corrupt police, corrupt judges, drug cartels, armed gangs fighting each other over turf in every major city, and lots of dead young bodies everywhere: Mexico’s rivers of blood are overflowing across the borders to the USA.

    I totally agree with Ken. Like him, I reject drug use, but we have to maintain a rational attitude. Let’s remember that that Sheriff Deputy is part of the War-on-Drugs Industrial Complex. As such he is hardly an objective party on the issue (although I am not suggesting dissmissing his information).

    Surely, drug legalization has its problems, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that drugs are everywhere — today — with or without legalization. So let’s do away with this stupid “war on drugs” and focus on education for our kids about the hazards of drugs, rehabilitation, and finding solutions to the new problems that come along with legalization.

    We have to remember that in the end, we live in a free society in which we are free to make our choices, even stupid choices. It comes with a price. We constantly have to do this cost-benefit analysis, and see what would be the most sensible, humane, and least costly way to deal with this tough problem without violating our constitutional rights.

    Finally, a word or two to Mademoiselle Gramophone: What do drugs, drinking and smoking have to do with “being sent to war”? Sorry, I am missing the logic. I hope that our message to our kids would be more coherent, or else we should not wonder why they are rolling their eyes when we start preaching.

    10/21/2009 at 3:08 pm
  5. La Canada Student #

    While this post did get a few things right, it completely mislabeled the Smokeout festival as a rave. There may be drugs there, but that does not mean it is a rave. The most prevalent drugs at raves are ecstasy, LSD, and GHB, not marijuana. Also, raves feature live DJs and electronic music in a closed-off warehouse, not rap and reggae/ska music at a legitimate venue (such as an amphitheater). Additionally, people who go to raves often wear very little clothing, something you hardly see at an actual music festival. Cypress Hill Smokeout could be better compared to a marijuana-themed Coachella or Vans Warped Tour than to a rave.

    10/21/2009 at 9:16 pm
  6. Thanks for the comment! Please re-read the post – I was careful not to label SmokeOut as a rave. I just said it wasn’t merely a music festival. Maybe it’s a rave, maybe it’s not. I just wanted parents to have an idea of what else will be there besides music.

    10/21/2009 at 9:38 pm
  7. kelly #

    OMG its pot .. get over it , people get drunk all the time … and thats wayyyyy worse then smoking weed

    11/10/2009 at 2:35 am

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