Albuquerque Journal
June 10, 2002

I am very upset and concerned by the “Ecstasy & Agony” story in Sunday’s (June 2) Journal. My concern is not for the poor, ignorant drug users, or for the “specific groups” targeted by the rave fliers, but for the obvious ignorance of the author of this article. First of all these are NOT private parties, and they are MOST CERTAINLY NOT invitation-only events. The rave fliers can be easily accessed by ANYONE who chooses to pick one up in all three of the Albuquerque malls, as well as several local shops in downtown Albuquerque. There is also a Web site open to the public announcing events. These events are posted usually two to three months in advance, and the fliers can be found about one month in advance. The people involved in putting together these parties put a lot of time, effort and money into them. It takes time to book DJs, secure venues, as well as work with the other local production companies to make sure that there is not more than one event on any given night. What you also failed to mention is that private security companies are hired to keep an eye on everything, and ALL patrons are thoroughly searched upon entrance. Drugs that are found are confiscated and thrown away. APD is also usually notified in advance to help ensure the safety of the partygoers. Considering how easily accessible the announcements of the events are, I find it hard to believe that the local police department is ever in the dark. I was also VERY surprised that you failed to mention Albuquerque’s local chapter of the DanceSafe organization called Partysmart. They’re well known for offering educational materials about drugs to help those who choose to use do safely. They do not by any means encourage drug use, but since it does happen, they help provide a safer experience by handing out informational pamphlets, free water, snacks and condoms to anyone who is interested. I have been an avid supporter of the NM scene for the past 7 years, I am 22 years old, and a student here in Albuquerque. I work a full time job, go to school full time, and currently have a 4.0 GPA. I have attended raves nearly every weekend since before I began high school. I do not appreciate the implication that all of the people who attend raves are drug users. Ecstasy is NOT only found at raves. And what Dateline, 20/20, the local news, and now what you at the Journal don’t seem to realize is by printing biased, slanted articles like this one, claiming that if you go to a rave you can do drugs, all of the people who want to do drugs, the ones that have only one focus, or the young kids who never had the opportunity before head straight to the next party, followed quickly by the dealers, to do just that. I love raves because I love the music, I love to dance, and I believe in the other people in attendance. Rarely can you go to a large place in a huge crowd and find a more peaceful vibe. We as a whole have managed to mesh together a melting pot of different ethnic backgrounds, religions, and up bringing, and somehow we all get along. Albuquerque is not a large city; we have horrible statistics when it comes to violence, public education, and poverty. What we do have going for us is a positive rave scene, known for its peaceful and welcoming partiers, as well as VERY talented local DJs. And, unlike this Dave character, most of us who are looking forward to the summer scene are excited about the out-door parties because we appreciate the beautiful desert backdrop, not because of the drugs.

Lisa Linebaugh