Not the full story but I saw it in Mixmag before... Manoucehr Bahmanzadeh owner of Plymouth, UK, superclub Dance Academy and club manager/DJ Tom Costelloe recently received nine year and five year jail terms respectively, after being found guilty of allowing ‘rampant’ sales of ecstasy at their venue. Passing judgment, Judge Francis Gilbert QC singled out the hard house and trance music genres that the Academy usually played as factors in the case, declaring ‘the truth is ecstasy was part of the culture of the premises; the music was associated with the taking of ecstasy. Ecstasy was a major factor in attracting people to the club and its profitability’. He also cited Tom Costelloe’s personal use of ecstasy and cannabis in deciding the length of jail term, after cops found two pills in his house. “I will accept that in terms of profit your gain was very limited; if anything, you were underpaid,” Judge Gilbert conceded. “Your profit was in being the man running the biggest club in the South West,” he decreed. Judge Jules, who DJed at the high profile venue a number of times, spoke out following the sentencing declaring; “whilst I can’t comment on the specifics of this case, it looks like a worrying precedent for all owners of licensed premises. There’s only so far that licensees and owners can go to eradicate drug use from their businesses,” Jules pointed out. “Jailing those who fail in this department is a very draconian way of dealing with a frequently unenforceable standard.” Civil liberties campaigner Steve Rolles from drugs charity Transform also attacked the sentences. “I think the useful comparison here is with alcohol licensing; the unlicensed sale of alcohol, or allowing its unlicensed sale, would never attract a prison sentence and rarely even a criminal prosecution,” said Steve. “In this case we see another drug, ecstasy, that due to a quirk of history is illegal, but that according to the government’s own appointed experts is less harmful than alcohol, and is certainly associated with considerably less social nuisance, being treated in a dramatically different way.” The Judge’s summing up bore remarkable similarities to clauses in America’s notorious RAVE act, which the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) neatly described in an essay titled ‘What the RAVE Act means to you’, in 2003. “The RAVE Act unfairly punishes businesses for the crimes of their customers. Businesses can be prosecuted even if they were not involved in drugs in any way – and even if they took steps to stop drug use on their property,” the ACLU said.