Reefer madness

21 June 2005

The story of a Welsh AM demonstrating a crimebusting drugs-testing machine in a publicity stunt, then promptly testing positive for cannabis herself (via fridgemagnet), is at first amusing. But it becomes quite worrying, when the explanation is not that she’s been enjoying the green, but instead that it came from cross-contamination, such as: “touching cash or a door handle previously handled by a drugs user.” Which immediately raises the question – if it’s so prone to false positives, why the hell are we letting the police use it? At least it cannot be used in court, but can still be used by the police to track & target innocent people on the flimsiest of supposed evidence.


2 Responses

Iain

Re: the Google maps link in the linklog, you just live in the ‘wrong’ part of Edinburgh. Pan left a touch to the brown mess rather than the green mess, and you can start zooming in to see tons of detail.

Don’t worry, down South where I live, I’m just off to the East of a patch of high detail, too.

Neil

Its not just cannabis detection machines that are fallible! A few years ago I was travelling back from work on the train. When I reached Preston station I discovered the drug squad were using sniffer dogs at the exit to sniff out drugs on commuters. As I walked past, the dog sniffed me out and the policeman and woman asked me to follow them to a hut to be searched. I was bemused as I knew I had no drugs on me or had had any contact with them knowingly! It was also extremely embarrasing and a degrading public humiliation as passers by stared at me.

After having my bag and person searched and stating my complete incomprehension at the situation they eventually said to me, you must have been in the presence of a drug recently, maybe a cannabis smoker.

Something I was sure could not have happened as I hadn’t even been in the presence of any smokers that day and my clothes were freshly washed. They refused to accept that their dog might have got it wrong. I have a fear of dogs and think this could have triggered the dog’s reaction. They didn’t even apologise for the inconvenience they had caused me.