It’s a strange world where even those caught possessing chocolate can wind up needing the services of a drug attorney in Arizona. Yes, this has actually happened. Recently, Ron Obadia and his partner Nadine Artemis, who owned an organic products business, found themselves arrested, handcuffed, and interrogated for hours at a Toronto Airport by officials who suspected they had smuggled hashish inside their organic chocolate. A brick size sample of organic chocolate tested positive with THC for the most widely used color reagent test. Suddenly, the business owners were consulting with a drug attorney, all over a brick of chocolate!
Granted, the chocolate did resemble hashish. While that might make for creative package advertising, it is not against the law. The business owners were locked in separate rooms, and their one year old baby was taken away from them. Each person was told they faced life in prison and that the other confessed. Both individuals adamantly denied the chocolate contained nothing but chocolaty goodness and no marijuana. Eventually, the couple was released and had their child returned to them. As they explained, they were not the type of people to have a drug attorney on speed dial, and it was just chocolate.
Still eager to market organic chocolate in New York, the couple tried 3 weeks later to again enter the United States, this time by car near Buffalo. Knowing they were already suspected drug smugglers, they hired an immigration lawyer (rather than a drug attorney) to drive ahead of them to let US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement know they were entering the country on legitimate business interests.
Agents were waiting with drug dogs, which seemed to like the couple’s tea tree oil, an organic plant product from Australia. The oil tested “positive” for THC. Knowing that the couple had already been suspected of smuggling “hashish” chocolate, officials assumed the body product was hashish oil. Again, they had more chocolate on them that also tested “positive.”
Subsequent tests found that none of the products contained marijuana. Yes, the couple protested, this was good chocolate, but not “good” in the illegal way. Nevertheless, the couple found themselves facing $20,000 in drug attorney legal fees, all over chocolate and body products.
What in the world?
Many argue that the widely marketed field test kits are next to worthless. Worse, even when they are properly used, they can cause irreparable harm to innocent individuals. These people face a damaged reputation as well as expensive drug attorney fees just because they get caught with items as harmless as chocolate, laundry soap or even perfume.
According to recent reports, there are thousands of products, ranging from food to beauty to household items, falsely test positive for the drug test kits used by many police forces. This opens up a Pandora’s Box of legal questions and issues that is sure to eventually find its way before the Supreme Court.
The likelihood of false positives seriously compromises America’s legal ethic of “innocent until proven guilty.” Using today’s field tests, many innocent Americans are found guilty of chocolate and beauty products, losing careers, racking up drug attorney in Arizona fees, all because the police didn’t take the time to make sure they had it right.
About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona drug attorney, visit our site.