December 4, 2000
To: Charlotte City Council
From: Mike Jones
RE: Dance Club Ordinance
Congratulations to the Council to seriously deliberating this long overdue subject. There is much more to this pervasive lifestyle than its promoters will admit to. Many of our young people get caught up in this fast paced siren song that raves have become. While most eventually age out of and resume a more normal lifestyle, some like my son Tommy, acquire addictions that they may not ever overcome.
I have enclosed a series of articles that relate to the all-night dance scene. As you will see and despite the promoters best efforts these all-night outings and substance abuse among the participants go hand in hand. It is very difficult to police as one small pill of Ecstasy can easily be concealed. The most distressing aspect however is that they have become breeding grounds for people as young as 15 to indulge in a subculture where they risk losing touch with reality. That should be a major concern for the council as many of our youth are harmed physically, emotionally and mentally from submersion in this chemically tuned environment. Many youngsters however may not know about the long term ill-effects of club drugs. To view what the proponents of E are saying I suggest a visit to www.ecstasy.org It should be an eye-opener to those who just dismiss this as youthful exuberance.
I urge the council to adopt a dance club ordinance. However, I think further review is warranted. There are three inescapable facts that must be considered in this policy;
That all night dance clubs and substance abuse are intertwined. Only by restricting the former will the latter be minimized.
That there will be illegal raves if legal oneís are banned.(thatís how they began...in warehouses with locations announced clandestinely)
That even if there are legal raves and the age limit is 18 or 21 many young people will find fake idís allowing them entrance. These are easily and cheaply available on the internet
Considering the above, I suggest a more thorough review of other ordinances. One in particular that holds promise was recently adopted in Calgary Canada. Iíve enclosed a copy of the article. While that needs further study, their new policy might just be the avenue to balance these disparate interests.
Thank you very much for this opportunity to speak. This is a subject that has long haunted my quest to better understand why my first born son would risk his life in the pursuit of the ultimate high. While I canít point the blame entirely at commercial raves, I do firmly believe that his time in Charlotte was a fateful breeding ground and haven to engage in continuous substance abuse. I trust and hope that the council will embrace an ordinance that will effectively prevent further proliferation of these all-night commercial operations. A few of our youngsters lives will depend upon it.
Other information on dangerous raves I have at http://www.tommyjones.org/allaboutdrugs/thedangersofE.htm
Greenville SC Recent article on GHB and raves. Nov 6, 2000
Tue, 22 Feb 2000 US FL: Designer Drugs Deadlier Than Believed TALLAHASSEE - The state's drug czar says deaths from "club drugs" are 30 times worse than his office thought they were.
The committee chair for Charlotte is Councilman Patrick Cannon his email is TryCannon@aol.com some current information on the Council's efforts can be found 1/2 way down the page under "Kids partying" here