WHats the deal with cops?

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I heard that a lot of drugs are done at burning man. If so why dont the cops regulate on that? I really want to go but I dont really understand why the cops dont jack everybody. Someone please answer!!!

-- Nick Christenson (nchristenson@IPTEC.com), February 03, 2004


Leave the Small Guy alone... Bust the big guys if you have to but not the small guys

-- PHF (4388@yaaol.net), February 08, 2005.

Some interesting statistics and info transcribed from the BLM Winnemucca site. For the complete text visit:


"This year, at its peak, there were 62 BLM employees working at the Burning Man event. Of these, 18 were administrative and operations people. The law enforcement presence included the remaining 44 BLM personnel, 12 Pershing County Sheriff's Department personnel and units from the Washoe County Sheriff's Department, Nevada Highway Patrol, and the Nevada Division of Investigation. These State and federal employees were assigned to the event for anywhere from one to three weeks.

Each year, BLM, the Pershing County Sheriff's Office and Black Rock City, LLC set up an Incident Command Post (ICP) on the playa about a quarter mile outside of Black Rock City. BLM administration and law enforcement activities are conducted from the ICP, which also includes a dispatch center that enables BLM, the cooperating agencies and Black Rock City, LLC to communicate with the outside world through radio and satellite phone communication (cell phones don't work in the Black Rock country).

Law enforcement statistics were mixed compared to last year. BLM rangers issued a total of 218 citations (an increase of 41 or 23%) and made one arrest (down 80% from last year's five arrests). Of the total citations, 114 were for drug related offenses (up by 12% from 2003), 56 for violations of closure orders (up 6% from a year ago), and the remainder for miscellaneous violations ranging from urinating on the playa to vehicle safety violations to disorderly conduct. The one arrest was for assault on a federal officer.

The Pershing County Sheriff’s office worked 27 cases, made four arrests (down by one from last year's five arrests) and issued two citations (down from the nine issued a year ago). This year Pershing County Sheriff's deputies conducted alcohol compliance checks at six locations inside Black Rock City where alcohol was being either given away or bartered. "All six locations failed the checks and were issued warnings," said Sheriff Ron Skinner. "We will ensure that State laws relating to alcohol use and distribution are followed and enforced inside Black Rock City just as they are elsewhere in the county. We are especially concerned that alcohol not be distributed to minors attending the event. This is an issue that we will work with BLM and Black Rock City to resolve before next year's Burning Man."

There's alot more to the story...read the full snizzle at: http://www.nv.blm.gov/Winnemucca/press_releases/nr05-01.htm

-- Andy Tannehill (chef.andy@gmail.com), October 21, 2004.

The law presence in 2004 was Astounding. I witnessed an entire camp being staked out by at least 30 undercover 'officers'. We watched as they photographed the camp and they got very upset when we photographed them. Read the back of your ticket carefully. You do not have much privacy rights especially if you are engaged in ANY illegal activity. They evict people regularly from the event.

-- I know (junkmail@junkmail.com), September 29, 2004.

I'm going to have to disagree somewhat with the previous posts. It is true that many people are charged with drug possession each year, but from the stories I've heard it's usually from being careless about it. If you're smoking a bowl right out in the open, then you're asking for trouble. By using common sense and keeping things discreet, you won't have too much to worry about. I've never heard of somebody being randomly searched at Burning Man, and many times I've been around people using controlled substances right out on the playa.

I agree that people should be very careful about substance use at BRC, and personal responsibility is paramount, but let's not get carried away with the notion that the place is crawling with cops. In a sea of 30,000 people already acting like total freaks, it's actually pretty easy to get away with a little chemical experimentation.

As long as we're on the topic, though, I would like to personally recommend AGAINST (ab)using drugs at Burning Man. Not only does it give the event a bad name, but you really don't need drugs to get the most out of this event. I'll admit that I've had some great times on powerful psychedelics at Burning Man, but at some point I realized that the best times I had were when I was sober. It's already weird enough that you won't need any help escaping "reality". Just taking in the sights/sounds/feelings becomes a trip unto itself.

That's my two pennies, for what they're worth.

- Ray

-- Ray Smith (theav8tar@hotmail.com), July 20, 2004.

Nick is very naive. There are 100s of cops there, both in uniform and undercover. They are on foot, on bike, motorcycle and car. I was harrassed for eating food at night and the cop thought it was drugs from 50 ft away! Be very aware of your surroundings!

-- james (viagrano@yahoo.com), May 19, 2004.



ELKO - U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Nevada is proposing authorization for BLM law enforcement officers to enforce drug and alcohol regulations on public land. The proposal is "strictly tailored to correspond with Nevada state law," said Richard Brown, a public affairs specialist with the state BLM office. He said the goals are to reduce the illegal use of alcohol and drugs on public lands for public safety reasons and to improve cooperation between BLM and state and local law enforcement officials. Elko County Sheriff Neil Harris said, however, that he just heard about the proposal this week, and he has no plans to "cross-deputize any federal agents." "We will continue to do what we have done in the past," Harris said.

Brown said the federal agency believes the proposed regulations published in the Federal Register this week would help local law officers because BLM is now required to call them in case of drug and alcohol violations on public land. "The benefit is that some of the public lands are in remote areas. It can be a hardship to bring a deputy out there," Brown said.

He also said BLM law officers could help local and state law officers at the Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert that draws thousands of people, for example. Harris said he believes most of the sheriffs in the state feel as he does that "this is public land, and we have the personnel to deal with them." The sheriff also questioned how BLM officers would enforce regulations, unless they brought their cases through federal court, which is what happens with other federal cases. According to the Federal Register, those in violation of the proposed drug and alcohol regulations would be subject to imprisonment of not more than 12 months or a fine.

The Federal Register doesn't specify, however, whether BLM law enforcement officers would issue tickets answerable in federal court and where BLM would take arrested subjects for processing.The proposed regulations would enable BLM law enforcement officers to take action when someone is operating a motorized vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or has an open container of alcohol. BLM also could act on incidents of possession of alcohol by a minor and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Federal Register.

Brown said the motorized vehicles would include dirt bikes and all- terrain vehicles. The Federal Register states that BLM needs the supplementary rules "to protect natural resources and the health and safety of public land users." The public may send comments on the proposed changes by July 2 to Erika Schumacher, BLM state office, 1340 Financial Blvd., Reno, NV 89502 or to Erika_Schumacher@blm.gov.

-- Gary (gltaylor2@cox.net), May 09, 2004.

They do enforce it, BIG TIME. So dont assume you can get away with it. Lots of People do drugs and lots of them get cuaght. The Cops do not look the other way and ignore it. If they even smell you smoking dope they will investigate. Lots of people get busted every year for drugs at Burning Man. Simple possesion of pot is a $250.00 fine. Other drugs can get you jail time.

-- Gary Taylor (gltaylor2@cox.net), March 09, 2004.

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