I know from my personal accounts that episodes such as the ones described below are not isolated and cross many cultural and demographic lines. Policy should address what is actually occurring in a society, rather than establishing laws and protocol for idealistic conditions. People, many, many people, use ecstasy and current policy encourages harmful behavior on the behalf of rave promoters and drug dealers by allowing them to distribute pills that are not regulated, nor is pill testing encouraged and permitted. Research suggests that emergency room attendance does occur, all too frequently, and ambulance appearances can almost be anticipated at all major events. These behaviors, however, are not always present in all cultures, particularly all-access drug policy cases. People all over the world listen to electronic music. So one must why the cases are so numbered in certain areas. A rational response would include that the pills being consumed are not what the user intends to ingest. Adulterated pills include a range of substances varying from meth, a more expensive substitute, to DXM and a spectrum of research chemicals that can be easily obtained. Please note that this account can be multiplied many times over in reference to this one event alone. Shouldn't something be done to address this issue?
Halloween, like any other holiday, has evolved and changed its meaning for me as I have grown. I used to be afraid of ghouls, goblins, and witches; now I fear for drug deals, rave promoters, and the LAPD. Halloween compounded with the rave culture in the Los Angeles area has resulted in an annual event “Monster Massive”. Monster Massive, like any other Halloween gathering is a mecca of freaks and indulgences. It is an all ages occasion with security and police supervision held at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, owned and operated by USC. The event attracts tens of thousands of patrons and crams them into overheated, overcrowded, unhealthy spaces that cannot be properly monitored. I am ambiguous about the motivations behind allowing such an event to take place, as it jeopardizes the safety of each person entering the door.
I personally experienced the peril involved in such an event last Saturday, October 27, when I came across a girl not much younger than myself collapsed on the sidewalk. I saw that people were not responding and decided to take her pulse. I am not a doctor, but given some minor medical experience I was able to conclude that she was not passed out due to heat or alcohol consumption, but rather a more serious neurological condition. I thought that she was suffering from something like Serotonin Syndrome or the aftermath of a stroke. Her muscles were rigid unlike anything I felt before, aside from a dead person. Her color was becoming increasingly worse and she was shivering uncontrollably. She was accompanied by a frantic and delirious boyfriend, who seemed to lack any sense of reality. Her boyfriend went for help as my husband and I stayed and tried to keep her conscious and alert. Help was summonsed and a security guard came a number of minutes later. He did little but hold a flash light and perform minimal crowd control to cover up the intensity of the girl's condition. As time elapsed and her lips turned blue, we set there with her boyfriend asking, “Where are the EMTS?!? Is anybody going to come and help?” I didn't quite know what to do but to reassure the girl that she was going to be okay and that help was going to be there soon. But as the minutes (a total of 45) went by and her condition worsened and no help was in sight I began to realize the severity of the situation. Where were the people attending to the event? Why isn't there a realistic response time for a medical emergency? What type of people are behind this? The event security wanted the happenings to be kept quiet and tried to downplay the scenario, hoping she would regain her spirit and mosey down to the first aid room. With no response from First Aid or any staff with medical training, we were forced to move her from the sidewalk to an area closer to the light. At this point there was still no stretcher and only a lemonade stand table to place the rigid nearly lifeless body of the barely 20 year old girl. We were trying to move her to the first aid room, but efforts were halted by the security guard in fear there would be a scene.
Who regulates this type of event? Is there an agency that deals with conditions for concerts and acceptable venues? Why are these parties and events not publicized in the news? Does somebody with too much money and too much power have too much influence over what happens in Los Angeles?
The impact of ecstasy is highly disputed, but many agree that there are potentially beneficially uses. Imagine trying to buy a glass of moonshine from your neighbor during prohibition; if you really wanted to get your hands on a glass of alcohol you could, but with a cost. There was always a Russian Roulette risk of not knowing what one was buying; one glass could kill you and the other just make you drunk: the same is the case with ecstasy. The pills all look the same for the most part, and the contents are unknown. The substances induce a state of inebriation, but who is to decide what is actually in the pills.
Monster Massive was not some type of illegal party in the woods or desert; this was a mainstream event where people were falling out like a war zone of drugs. As history suggests, people are going to want to party and have fun, but it is the ultimate responsibility of the government to make sure there are safe guards in place to protect the populous. Whether it does so by shutting down event such as this or by regulating ecstasy so that it is not laden with other drugs like research chemicals and amphetamine, something needs to be done to prevent other people from experiencing what happened to that girl that night. Because she isn't here to talk about it now. She died from liver and heart complications a week later.