OF DRUG HARM REDUCTION
In 1971, Richard Nixon declared drug abuse to be the "public enemy number one of the United States" and thus launched the Drugs War. The DEA was formed in 1973 and imposed mandatory prison sentences for non-violent drug-related crimes. It wasn't until the 1980s that Ronald Reagan really buckled down on drugs, causing an upsurge in prison, primarily targeting low-income communities and people of color.
The drug war continues to rage today, though less public and with a shifting dynamic. It is universally accepted that the aggressive tactics of criminal punishment and stigmatization continue to fail to prevent people from doing drugs. In fact, studies show that they are more than likely to have the reverse effect, while also causing severe trauma to impoverished communities of color. The harm reduction movement came about in response to the grave crisis.
Historically, harm reduction is a collection of public health and social practices that communities engage in to properly care for each other with the intention of minimizing the social and physical consequences of drug use, regardless of their legality. The ultimate goal is to see where people stand on drug consumption and meet them there by adequately treating them with boundless compassion.
Rave Scout Cookies is committed to promoting harm reduction practices and providing resources to the dance music and electronic music communities as part of its rave sustainability projects. In 2019, we partnered with DanceSafe National to raise awareness on harm reduction and cease the shame and stigma of drug use. Criminalization remains the primary weapon of the drug war. The use of the criminal justice system to solve public health problems has proved to be ineffective but also socially destructive. It promotes stigma and discrimination, largely carried by already marginalized and vulnerable communities.
Rave Scout Cookies and DanceSafe National acknowledge all social aspects of rave culture, some of which could be hazardous. We do not condemn or condone, and support rather than punish. We devoutly hope to provide an open and honest education about issues such as drug safety, mental and sexual health in an accessible, professional, and fun way.