The American Civil Liberties Union is taking a strong interest in the May 30 concert that was canceled at the Eagles Lodge. The concert, intended to raise money to put a medical marijuana initiative on the ballot next year, was canceled by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles board after an agent of the Drug Enforcement Agency warned that the lodge could be fined up to $250,000 under the so-called RAVE Act if any illegal drug use took place.
The cancelation has received lots of attention on the web but not much in the local news. The Nation, Utne Reader and the Austin Chronicle all have done pieces. This apparently is the first test of the new law, which was signed by President Bush on April 30 as part of the Amber Alert bill.
The ACLU's first task: find a plaintiff. The lodge, presumably, or the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which sponsored the concert, are possibilities. Second task: Find out exactly what the DEA agent said that led to the cancellation.