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6 month season in, 24 hour partying out

A 'positive' meeting has taken place between Ibiza club reps and the Balearic government in the wake of clubbing casualties.

Adverse publicity surrounding the death of a 27-year-old man from Ireland and a cluster of other hospitalisations has prompted an unprecedented meeting between the representatives from the major discos in Ibiza and the Balearic government.

Pepe Rosello from Space, Ricardo Urgell from Pacha, Marisol Aguirre from Es Paradis, Paquita Cardona from Eden (the new president of the disco association) and others met with Ramón Socías for a reportedly “very pleasant” discussion. The club owners were praised for their co-operation.

Socías was quoted thus: "We do not want to criminalize anybody and we will meet with all to look for solutions. We do not want to close premises.”

One of the major topics of discussion was licensing hours. The stated aim is to break the “vicious circle” of 24-hour partying which implies that participants must ingest substances to maintain participation, said Socías. Increased police presence at the airport and other entry points into Ibiza has also been mooted.

Clearly however clubs are being made a scapegoat for the failure of drug policies in Spain and elsewhere. Nowhere has it been shown that zero tolerance and the criminalisation of recreational drug users is in any way beneficial to personal health or legal industries. Typically prohibition itself puts drug users at risk, not least from the stress of potential incarceration itself, and increases business opportunities for the black market. Nor do blanket bans reduce consumption or the resulting volume of drugs traded.

Despite added dangers caused by the lack of consumer guarantees and other factors, clubbing remains a safe activity. The sad demise of the young Irishman is thought to have been caused by a spiked drink, not wilful ingestion. While tragic this only serves to highlight the relative safety of raving – many more people die or are injured in road accidents yet never is it suggested that car dealerships be busted.

Cardona made this pertinent point in an interview with the Diario de Ibiza when responding to a question about the nightmarish high season traffic situation here on the White Isle.

“There are other areas where there are accidents every day and yet the closure of nearby establishments is not considered.”

She went on to propose a week long music festival in May or October, a la Miami “to taking advantage of Ibiza’s reputation at the premier destination for this type of leisure, to promote rather than punish it.”

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The following link is an excellent resource about the dangers of drugs and in particular GHB, which is thought to be the cause of the death mentioned above: