Crappy drug detecting kits used by police yield too many false positives. They result in wrongful arrest and imprisonment of innocent people.
Sage has been mistaken for marijuana; motor oil for heroin; jolly ranchers for meth; and breath mints for crack. In February, a Minnesota man spent months in jail after his vitamin powder tested positive for amphetamines. Soon after the arrest in Tampa, a Hillsborough police lieutenant conducted his own experiment on the NARK II tests, which cost between $15 and $20 for a box of ten. He found that just opening the test bag to the air produced the same shade of purple as exposure to methamphetamine, according to an internal memo. In February, the Hillsborough sheriff’s department announced it had switched to a different field test, made by the same company, which tests for a wider variety of illegal drugs. A spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department declined interview requests.
Chuck Rosenberg, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, is either woefully ignorant, protective of his administration’s reckless mission, or both. “What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not,” Rosenberg said in a briefing. “We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that […]
This video, which was released last year, was produced by the city of Amsterdam to warn tourists that heroin was being sold by street dealers as cocaine. The city set up signs and offered inexpensive drug test kits so people could test the street drugs they’d purchased and find out if it contained heroin. The […]
The United Nations declared coca leaves an illegal substance in 1961, but Pope Francis told the government of Bolvia to break out the leaves when he arrives for a visit later this month – he plans to chew them. Coca leaves, which are the raw ingredient of cocaine, are legal in Bolivia for religious and […]
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