The Rainbow Venues in Birmingham is the latest UK club to have its licence revoked for drug deaths. Isn't it time common sense prevailed and clubs were not held accountable for the actions of their patrons?
Imagine for a second if someone died at your house party. As long as you hadn’t supplied the fatal drugs, you wouldn’t be charged with playing a part in the death. So why are clubs in the UK and elsewhere still held accountable for drug deaths?
The Rainbow in Birmingham is the latest club to fall foul of arcane drug laws after a second drug death involving the club occured after a 19 year old clubber visited the venue in October.
The venue was ordered to bring in undercover security and drug sniffer dogs after another clubber died after taking ecstasy at the club on New Year’s Eve in 2015.
It follows in the wake of the attempted closure of Fabric in 2016, which resulted in the club being allowed to remain open. Isn’t it time that the common sense that was thankfully and eventully applied in London be distributed around the rest of the world?
Revoking a club licence wont stop drug use. If anything it will drive drug use further underground putting more lives at risk.
And why should clubs be singled out for drug deaths? When a wealthy Arab businessman died from cocaine overdose at the Dorchester Hotel in 2015, the hotel was not held accountable. Why should a nightclub be any different?
Officials continually invoke harsher and harsher security conditions on clubs that suffer from drug casualties. Isn’t it a situation of ‘pot calling kettle black’ when UK prisons are rife with drug use?
It is impossible to conclusively prevent drugs from penetrating door searches. Drugs by their very physical nature whether in wraps, pills or drops, are just too small and easily concealed.
A sunset over Digbeth.
Club closures and tough security orders in reality serve no real purpose other than the political grand-standing of city officials attempting to appear tough on drugs.
The debate is just one element of the wider issue of drugs and society. The war on drugs is not, and has never been, winnable. It’s akin to the debate on global warming, a similarly widely accepted and proven concept which the world is finally coming to terms with. Rather than prolong a debate that should have ended years ago, let’s focus on real world solutions to the problems club deaths present.
We need a radical overhaul of drug laws worldwide. Countries like Portugal and The Netherlands have time and again proven that a more liberal approach to drug laws is far more effective in lessening drugs usage and the crimes associated with it.
Punishing The Rainbow does not bring back either of the people who tragically died. It does nothing for their families. And it certainly doesn’t make Birmingham any safer. All it does is ruin the business of one of the UK’s most respected promoters. Lose jobs for the venue’s staff. And ruin the regeneration of Digbeth, a poverty stricken area of the city whose turn of fortune was largely driven by the Rainbow promoters in the first place.
We stand by The Rainbow Team and hope that common sense will prevail when the club’s appeal is made in December.
Read the Rainbow Venues' statement in full:
Sign a petition to save the Rainbow Venues here: