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Orlando Authorities Move To Outlaw Dancing in Florida

Author: Skruff
Sunday, February 11, 2001
The new chairman of Orange County, Rich Crotty, has called for a 9 month ban on dancing at any new clubs opening in the Florida region, 'to stomp out drug-plagued rave parties', the Orlando Sentinel reported this week. If the new laws are approved, country & western saloons, neighbourhood bars and live venues will be affected, the Sentinel said, though 'the real target is rave clubs, the all-night party spots where dancing, pulsating music and strobe lights are often combined with recreational drugs.' "We will not let parts of Orange County be transformed into Rave Street Central," 52 year old Crotty told a press conference this week, as he outlined the vision behind his 'Dance Hall Moratorium'.

'Crotty's salvo was merely the latest, most extreme measure in Central Florida's ongoing crusade against youth-targeted nightlife, a wrong headed jihad passed off as a high stakes battle in the war on drugs,' The Orlando Weekly complained in a detailed attack on the proposals. "For years the bogeyman of underage addiction has been used as a wedge… But the ordinance was a notably backwards approach to the alleged crisis: If you can't stop the drugs, it seemed to argue, you sure can stop the dancing. In most civilised communities, this sort of harassment is the province of organised crime, but leave it to Orange County to be behind the learning curve."

The move to ban dancing in Orange County reflects the increasing demonisation of 'raves' by US authorities, which could have serious implications for the country's entire club scene. Speakers at last week's "State Of Ecstasy Conference" (see below) e addressed the issue explicitly, Salon Technology writer Janelle Brown reported.

"Ecstasy has become a cultural touchstone, much like crack in the 1980s and LSD in the 1960s and '70s," she said. "Rave promoters in New Orleans are facing felony charges under ancient crack house laws; the DEA wants to increase punishments for MDMA users and dealers to levels comparable with heroin; and any legitimate research into ecstasy's positive effects is being swiftly squelched."
To contact Orange County Chairman Richard Crotty"
phone: 001 407-836-7370 or by email: (The State Of Ecstasy Conference) (Miami, March 24-28th, 2001)