Newsbrief: Chicago Suburb Seeks to Ban Glow Sticks from All-Ages Clubs 1/9/04

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Last month, the city council in the Chicago suburb of Elgin gave preliminary approval to a local ordinance that would ban pacifiers, glow sticks, and other "drug paraphernalia" from clubs in the city that cater do an under-21 crowd. The measure must pass another vote at the council this month.

The measure is an effort to rein in Ecstasy use. The move arises out of the city's experience with The Mission, a club the city allowed to hold alcohol-free parties for 17-to-21-year-olds for a limited time last year. Patrons had to become club members to enter. Police arrested eight people for Ecstasy or look-alike drug sales during that period.

"Obviously, not everyone that has these items is on Ecstasy, but it would be helpful to keep these things out of the club," Rick Kozal, Elgin's assistant city attorney, told the council before it voted initial approval by a 5-1 margin on December 17. Glowsticks and pacifiers are drug paraphernalia, Kozal claimed.

The proposed ordinance is probably unconstitutional, Graham Boyd, head of the ACLU's Drug Policy Litigation Project, told the Chicago Tribune. "It's one thing if the venue's operators decide to ban certain legal items on their own," Boyd said. "It's another thing when the government is calling for such a ban." Boyd successfully argued a suit in New Orleans overturning a judge's ruling that such items must be banned as part of a settlement in a rave club case there.

But at least one Elgin council member didn't see any government imposition. "If you want to come to the club, you have to be a member," said John Walters. "If you want to be a member, you have to agree not to bring these items to the club. If you don't want to do it, no one is going to stop you from sitting at home and waving a glow stick in front of your face."

The next vote is scheduled for January 14.

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Issue #319, 1/9/04 Taking Drug Policy to the Presidential Candidates: SSDP Goes to New Hampshire | Battle of Christiania Flares as Hash-Seller Burn Own Stands | Major New Reform Coalition Forming in Maryland -- Will Call for Treatment, Not Incarceration | DRCNet Interview: Loretta Nall, President, US Marijuana Party | Newsbrief: Principal in South Carolina Drug Raid Resigns | Newsbrief: Campaign Watch: Gephardt On Crank | Newsbrief: Chicago Suburb Seeks to Ban Glow Sticks from All-Ages Clubs | Newsbrief: Secret Courts, and Not Just for Terrorism Suspects | Newsbrief: Ad Execs Charged With Ripping Off Drug Czar's Ad Campaign | Kentucky Cop Kills Drug Suspect with Three Shots to the Back -- Protest Turns Into Near Riot Thursday Night | DRCNet Temporarily Suspending Our Web-Based Write-to-Congress Service Due to Funding Shortfalls -- Your Help Can Bring It Back -- Keep Contacting Congress in the Meantime | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | The Reformer's Calendar

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