The Electric Daisy Carnival is coming up this weekend, celebrating its 20th anniversary as one of Las Vegas’ biggest events for electronic dance music. It is one of the biggest festivals in the city bar none, garnering a total of 400,000 attendants over a span of three days back in 2015. People from all over the United States and from around the world to attend this annual party and have some fun. Unsurprisingly, such a major musical event with a significant number of attendants can easily become the perfect spot for the proliferation of party drugs.
What is Party Drugs?
Party drugs (also referred to as club or rave drugs) are a special kind of recreational drugs that are ingested by party-goers for their psychedelic, hallucinogenic, or stimulant effects. Rave-goers who take these drugs become euphoric and uninhibited, gaining an unnatural burst of energy that goes beyond their standard limits. Often, users become anxious and panicky, losing control in the process; at worst, they can suffer serious drug poisoning which can lead to major bodily damage or death. Some common party drugs include MDMA or ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetamine or meth, and in some cases, LSD.
Why shoot drugs in the club?
Club events and outdoor raves often last through the night and up until the early morning. In addition, such parties are not complete without bright, pulsing lights that add to the atmosphere. Party drugs are ingested to enable the user to stay up for the duration of the event without feeling fatigued, and to enhance the experience of dancing to loud music and bright lights. People experience a loss of inhibition and sudden onset of euphoria, enabling them to ‘enjoy’ the event to their heart’s content, but also preventing them from noticing when things are going wrong for their bodies.
- Ecstasy has always been a commonly used drug at raves due to its inhibition-reducing and psychedelic properties. Users experience a strange high due to the drug being synergistic with loud music and rapidly flashing lights. They become more outgoing and energetic as long as the drug is in effect. At higher doses, however, these effects go hand in hand with severe dehydration, nausea, irritability and perception problems.
- Another typical party drug is cocaine. Much like ecstasy, cocaine or ‘coke’ reduces the user’s inhibition and increases energy, confidence, and euphoria. It also boosts the user’s sex drive for the duration of the effect. Unlike other stimulants, cocaine’s effects last shorter but are more prominent.
Party drugs and Nevada law
Despite being a common and, in some places, accepted, part of the club scene, use and possession of party drugs is still punishable under Nevada law, even more so if there was drug trafficking involved. In 2014 alone, the three-day event accounted for 73 narcotics arrests for possession of controlled substances like ecstasy, LSD, cocaine, and marijuana.
- As is typical for these drug-related cases, individuals caught in possession of these substances are punishable under NRS 453 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. Party drugs encompass both opioids and stimulants, and thus can only be obtained and used with a proper prescription from a licensed and competent medical professional. Getting caught in possession of any of these drugs at the EDC can net the offender with penalties ranging from a citation and ejection from the festival to a booking at the local police precinct and potential felony charges.
- Do note that the type of penalties one can receive for controlled substance possession will depend on what drug schedule the particular drug falls under. Meth, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and roofies are all Schedule I-IV drugs that equate to a category E felony, which means jail time for the user, or probation if it was the first offense. Additional charges can be made if the offender was arrested while both in possession of and under the influence of controlled substances at the EDC.
Defense against a drug arrest in the club
Drug arrests in clubs for suspected possession of controlled substances can be expected this weekend as the EDC enters fever pitch. A number of those arrests could be made on people who have no idea that they are carrying restricted party drugs. What should these people do to avoid a conviction?
- A common defense for these situations is the claim that the defendant had no idea that he or she had drugs on his person at the time of the arrest. The defendant may have loaned something, for example, a bag, to a friend a few days prior, and the drugs found in that bag were in fact owned by the friend. Another typical defense is to point out that the cops committed violations during the arrest itself, such as failing to recite Miranda Rights or conducting the search illegally.
- In certain cases, getting booked for controlled substances possession at the EDC may not be avoidable. To this end, the defendant can opt to go for a plea bargain and sign in with a drug court. These specialized facilities are alternative to facing prison time, providing keen and focused observation of the defendant to ensure that he or she is no longer using or possessing drugs. A positive review from a drug court often results in dropped charges for the defendant.
Club and rave parties can be fun and refreshing experiences where people hang out together and enjoy life. However, never forget that doing so is best done responsibly, without the need for controlled substances. Get in touch with a lawyer in Las Vegas NV immediately if accused with drug possession at the EDC.