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    Startling Research on False Positive Drug Tests 
    #1
    Bluelighter dhcdavid's Avatar
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    The National Press Club in Washington, DC took on the aspect of a chemistry lab for a short while Tuesday afternoon as scientists and researchers sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project gave a startling demonstration of false positive drug test results obtained using some of the most widely used field testing kits employed by law enforcement to detect the presence of marijuana and other drugs.

    As a lab-coated and rubber glove wearing researcher from the South Carolina Center for Biotechnology dumped a sample of oregano into a field test kit, Mintwood Media's Adam Eidinger produced a positive test result for cocaine with another kit simply by exposing it to the atmosphere. "This is just air," Eidinger said, opening up a test and waving it as the reagent turned orange, indicating a positive result. (See the YouTube video here.)

    The testing done at the press conference replicated that done earlier by the researchers, who found that a surprisingly large number of common substances generated false positive results for the presence of drugs. "While testing the specificity of the KN Reagent test kits with 42 non-marijuana substances, I observed that 70% of these tests rendered a false positive," said Dr. Omar Bagasra, director of the Center for Biotechnology, who conducted the experiments.

    That research came as part of new report, False Positives Equal False Justice, by forensics expert John Kelly in collaboration with former FBI chief scientist and narcotics officer Dr. Frederick Whitehurst. In the report, the pair uncovered "a drug testing regime of fraudulent forensics used by police, prosecutors, and judges which abrogates every American's constitutional rights," as Kelly wrote in the executive summary.

    "Law enforcement officials, forensic drug analysts, and prosecutors knowingly employ the flawed Duquenois-Levine and KN Reagent tests as well as mere conclusory police reports to wrongfully prosecute and convict millions of individuals for anti-marijuana law violations," Kelly wrote. "These wrongful prosecutions and convictions violate Supreme Court rulings which prohibit the use of inaccurate, nonspecific tests and/or conclusory reports because they do not prove the presence of marijuana in a seized substance. In other words, millions of people have been, and continue to be, prosecuted and convicted of marijuana charges without proof that they possessed marijuana."

    Both Kelly and MPP executive director Rob Kampia used the report's findings to call for a moratorium on the use of field drug testing kits. "It is imperative that law enforcement agencies take notice and voluntarily end the use of these flawed drug tests. The essential need of protecting the innocent must outweigh the convenience of a field drug test that only gives accurate information some of the time," wrote Kelly.

    "In terms of policy recommendations, it's real simple, no one should be using these faulty field tests, they should be thrown out and the company that's making them should probably be put out of business," Kampia told the press conference. "Natural soap, chocolate and newspaper, among other household items, all will test positive for marijuana and other drugs such as GHB, yet these kits continue to be used in both arrests and prosecutions nationwide. In our society we have the principle that you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. These tests turn that on its head."

    ODV, a subsidiary of Forensic Source, manufactures the NIK Narco Pouch 908 and 909 tested by the researchers. The company did not respond to requests for comment by day's end on Thursday. The tests' packaging warns that they can produce false positives, but does not mention that most of their positives are false.

    False positive field drug tests can ruin your day. Ask Don Bolles, drummer for the punk band The Germs. He was arrested and jailed for three days in April 2007 because a field test said the Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap he had with him tested positive for GHB. That field test was done with the NarcoPouch 928, another in the ODV line. Later testing revealed the 928 would generate false positives with a wide variety of natural soaps, as well as soy milk.

    Bryn Mawr honor student Janet Lee was another victim of inaccurate field drug test kits. As she prepared to fly home for Christmas break in 2003, she was arrested at the Philadelphia airport after three condoms filled with flour (she said she squeezed them for stress relief) came up as cocaine on a cobalt thiocyanate (C-T) field test. She spent three weeks in jail facing charges that could net her 20 years in prison before an attorney demanded the drug be retested. Lee collected $180,000 from the city two years later to settle a lawsuit, but still suffered the Kafkaesque nightmare of being jailed.

    Lee was lucky. A jail guard recognized her as a volunteer and beat the bushes for a good attorney. It is unknown how many others like her there are who, lacking such resources, either were found guilty or plea bargained to crimes of which they were innocent because of deceptive field drug tests.

    Another widely publicized incident of bad field drug tests occurred in August, when Ron Obadia and Nadine Artemis were arrested, handcuffed to a chair, and interrogated for hours at the Toronto Airport after their raw chocolate tested positive for hashish with the Duquenois-Levine color chemical test. They were placed in separate rooms and were told that they faced "life in prison" unless they confessed. Each of them was also told that the other already had confessed.

    Later lab testing proved it was indeed chocolate, not hash, and the pair were sent on their way. They also accumulated a $20,000 legal bill. To add insult to injury, when the couple tried again to fly to the US three weeks later with their raw chocolate, it again tested positive on the field test kit. This time, Obadia was arrested and charged with hash possession.


    __________________________________________________ ____________

    Citing Startling Research on False Positive Drug Tests, Researchers Call for Moratorium on Field Drug Test Kit Testing


    Drug War Chronicle, Issue #575, 3/6/09

    http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/...alse_positives
     

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    #2
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    and this bears no relation to the fact that american prisons generate profit???

    lets lock up some social scum then do them for drug violations on parole, yeee har

    money and justice dont ever mix fairly
     

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    #3
    is what happens when you let cops play with chemistry sets...
     

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    #4
    Bluelighter spacefacethebassace's Avatar
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    ^Totally, these combined with the now infamous drug recognition expert program make cops feel like important scientists, most of them don't even have a bachelor's degree. I heard a very successful attorney once quote a toxicologist he had spoken to about the DRE program, according to him the toxicologist said that there was no way he could reliably pinpoint the drugs a person had been using, what's to say Joe the Sheriff could?

    Furthermore, cops frequently don't understand even basic tests like the field sobriety test...a lot of people have gotten out of blatant drunk driving offenses because the arresting officer couldn't quote off the top of his head in court the various criteria by which one makes the assessment.

    So, essentially, it's all a fucking sham and needs to be dispensed with.
     

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    BL Ambassador Captain.Heroin's Avatar
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djXVnmrlKvE

    ^^^^

    missing youtube link above

    Quote Originally Posted by tobala View Post
    is what happens when you let cops play with chemistry sets...
    Indeed. Alexander Shulgin, one man, makes hundreds of drugs.

    Hundreds of men, test air and find it tested positive for cocaine. Hundreds of police officers.

    I love this though, the cops are reaching. It's like they know the people with the big amounts always get away, so you can only go after people who are holding less than a few grams of whatever and are going to be dumb enough to put it in an obvious place...

    Question ... .... how many cops does it take to figure out what marijuana, cocaine, hashish, or chocolate really look like?

    LOL ALL OF THEM!
     

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    #6
    Bluelighter Dragynfyr's Avatar
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    Nothin like goin down for a bag of air
     

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    #7
    Bluelighter funkee's Avatar
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    condoms full of flour can pocket me a few hundred g's?
     

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    #8
    duuuude, the air in my house is getting me super high!
     

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    #9
    How come you don't see this story next to "last year we arrested x-many hundreds of thousands of DRUG ADDICTS"?
     

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    #10
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    Hopefully this means they have to go and reinvent these reagents leaving them temporarily with no on site test kits. I wonder how many people have went to jail or atleast had expensive legal battles over this shit? Discraceful!
     

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    #11
    Bluelighter dhcdavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhcdavid View Post
    [FONT="Tahoma"][SIZE="2"]
    Bryn Mawr honor student Janet Lee was another victim of inaccurate field drug test kits. As she prepared to fly home for Christmas break in 2003, she was arrested at the Philadelphia airport after three condoms filled with flour (she said she squeezed them for stress relief) came up as cocaine on a cobalt thiocyanate (C-T) field test. She spent three weeks in jail facing charges that could net her 20 years in prison before an attorney demanded the drug be retested. Lee collected $180,000 from the city two years later to settle a lawsuit, but still suffered the Kafkaesque nightmare of being jailed.

    Lee was lucky. A jail guard recognized her as a volunteer and beat the bushes for a good attorney. It is unknown how many others like her there are who, lacking such resources, either were found guilty or plea bargained to crimes of which they were innocent because of deceptive field drug tests.
    I "bolded" the bit about the student arrested at Philadeplhia Airport with the three condoms filled with flour which she said she squeezed for stress relief because I just wanted my fellow Blers to read that bit one more time.....

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for fucking with the enemy in the War on Drugs but am I the only Bluelighter who read that part about the condoms filled with flour and wondered if we were being told the whole story?

    And even if we (a tad naively methinks?) accept this bizarre turn of events as the whole truth, am I also alone in thinking that taking three condoms filled with flour onto a flight "to squeeze for stress relief" is kind of asking for trouble?

    Of course I consider it outrageous that the seriously flawed technological hardware cited in this article has most defnitely played pivotal roles in the detaining of innocent citizens on suspicion of being drug-users/smugglers.
     

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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by dhcdavid View Post

    And even if we (a tad naively methinks?) accept this bizarre turn of events as the whole truth, am I also alone in thinking that taking three condoms filled with flour onto a flight "to squeeze for stress relief" is kind of asking for trouble?
    Yes. There's no such thing as "asking for trouble".
     

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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Coolio View Post
    Yes. There's no such thing as "asking for trouble".
    Bullshit. Walking though an airport with 3 condoms filled with flour is asking for trouble. Her story is so abstract most people would think there is another reason. If she was just squeesing them why did she need 3.

    Only speculateing now but I would assume she just wanted to see if she could get though and if it worked well maybe she the next would be filled with drugs
     

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    #14
    Walking anywhere with three condoms full of flour is perfectly legal, and when citizens can be harassed or jailed for being considered to be "asking for trouble" while doing nothing illegal, something is amiss.
     

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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by static_mind View Post
    Bullshit. Walking though an airport with 3 condoms filled with flour is asking for trouble. Her story is so abstract most people would think there is another reason. If she was just squeesing them why did she need 3.
    One for each hand and one for down below perhaps

    Maybe she was also a closet sex fiend and was embarrassed when caught with the flour filled condoms.
     

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    #16
    field tests kits for marijuana? seems that its pretty obvious if something is weed or not. i suppose it makes sense for testing possible edibles, but what cop is going to test your brownies/'raw chocolate' during a traffic stop.
     

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    #17
    Bluelighter drunken_etard's Avatar
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    Man if I got charged for Marijuana when I didnt have any..I would be really upset...
     

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    #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolio View Post
    Walking anywhere with three condoms full of flour is perfectly legal, and when citizens can be harassed or jailed for being considered to be "asking for trouble" while doing nothing illegal, something is amiss.
    Yes, it is perfectly legal - however, that is very suspicious, even to me - and especially, one would think, to law enforcement, and even more so in an airport given the current environment.

    I would agree with dhcdavid & S_M on this one - that is asking for it - I would, myself, rather use a balloon than a condom - thats seems to be a red flag, not that a balloon is much better, but why a condom? - and why 3 of them? - I've used the 'commercial' stress balls before and you usually only need 1, and, unless you're that dense, which many people are - make a new one when you get home if you need them so badly - don't bring them to the airport. If you need them for the flight itself, again why 3 - take some dramamine and go to sleep if you don't like to fly, or better yet, just don't fly.

    You have to remember that its law enforcements job to look for suspicious activities and or items in order to determine what is or isn't illegal, whether we like it or not, thats just how it is. I feel they were just doing their jobs in this instance, though the whole negative test result issue is a whole other story.

    There are many possiblities here, Perhaps instead of being dense she was equally brilliant in attempting to manifest just this scenario for her own monetary benefit, who knows, I wouldn't put anything past anyone. However, I would have to agree with you here as well dhcdavid, I feel the story she gave as 'stress relievers' to actually be the least likely of them all. - it just doesn't seems right to me in the end - but thats just me.

    Apologies in advance if this is slightly off topic
     

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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by LAO TZU View Post
    Yes, it is perfectly legal - however, that is very suspicious, even to me - and especially, one would think, to law enforcement, and even more so in an airport given the current environment.
    What the fuck is "the current environment"? When did it begin? Where does it end?

    Let me guess, it has something to do with 9/11 and will continue on in perpetuity for the duration of our lives?

    Suspicious or not, it's legal. It's highly oppressive to allow law enforcement to arrest people for being suspicious.
     

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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Coolio View Post
    Suspicious or not, it's legal. It's highly oppressive to allow law enforcement to arrest people for being suspicious.
    Do you have a point or what? Yes its legal for me to full up a suitcase full of flour too and try and go through an airport but don't be suprised when you get arrested for it. I agree that there is something more to the story because really now that excuse is retarded, carrying 3 condoms full of any white powder is bound to get you in potential trouble.
     

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    #21
    I wonder what the founders of modern police law enforcement thought, "Hmm take all the failed morons in America who would under normal circumstances be beating up guys who he thought his fat wife was cheating on him with, now give them a badge and have them release their angst on soon-to-be criminals! Genius."
     

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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by infinity2k7 View Post
    Do you have a point or what? Yes its legal for me to full up a suitcase full of flour too and try and go through an airport but don't be suprised when you get arrested for it. I agree that there is something more to the story because really now that excuse is retarded, carrying 3 condoms full of any white powder is bound to get you in potential trouble.
    There is no reason to have "an excuse" for legal behavior at all.
     

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    #23
    Lots of people have been arrested for having flour that is bagged to look like cocaine. They can arrest you because it looks like you're going to sell it as coke, or it looks like you just bought fake coke (even worse if that's the case).

    Its bullshit about the false positives. You might think that someone would do extensive tests before using the "Narco Pouch" (which btw is cheap as fuck) as evidence. After people get arrested because of a false positive, its a classic case of those who can afford one get a good lawyer, and everyone else goes to jail/has a charge on their record.


    This makes me wonder how accurate those MDMA testing kits were that BLers used to swear by back in the day.
     

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    #24
    Bluelighter TwistedReality's Avatar
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    I went to the doctor yesterday for anti-depressants, and since my mom told her what a junkie I am she drug tested me. The ONLY THING I had taken in the past 48 hours was 2 mg Xanax. I didn't test positive for opiates..only benzo's and...amphetamines?! What the fuck? I don't even do amphetamines.

    She didn't believe me because her drug screens are "highly sophisticated and only show use from the past 48 hours." She said they NEVER give false positives for anything.

    The only possible explanation is that the coke I did a tiny bit of last week was cut with speed. She insisted on the 48 hours thing though..
     

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    #25
    ^ well i guess the only thing you can do is find out the brand of test, look up information, even on their website, and see the percentages of false positives, although convincing your mother you don't do drugs is a hell of a lot harder than convincing the legal system.
     

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