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Hugo, Colorado police further underline the unreliability of superficial drug tests

Fairfax criminal defense/marijuana defense lawyer on the necessity of keeping drug testing science honest

Jul 27, 2016 Hugo, Colorado police further underline the unreliability of superficial drug tests

Drug detection is about chemistry, and even prosecutors’ chemists — with a never-ending stream and often backlog of alleged drugs to test while still testifying in court — can get drug testing wrong, particularly with being challenged by mental and physical exhaustion with their heavy workloads.

That is why drug field testing is a farce, both for not being conducted by qualified chemists, let alone for being insufficiently rigorous.

Further underlining the unreliability of drug field testing and other insufficiently rigorous drug tests is the recent case of Hugo, Colorado. First, the town officials there warned against drinking the water after a field test detected  THC (a key active ingredient of marijuana) in the city’s water supply and after apparent forced entry was found into the town’s water facility.

First the Hugo story became the rightful fodder Internet-wide for such jokes as the desirability for many people to enjoy THC in water, while I also recognized the irony that this THC-tainted water story was from a town that did not even have a marijuana industry, despite Colorado’s booming legalized marijuana industry. .

And then we learned that the finding of THC in the water was false.

Next time a judge, prosecutor or cop who feels dismissive about giving life to criminal defendants’ Constitutional rights, let them recognize that they risk egg on their faces (at best) to stand by such flimsy “science” as drug field testing and to ridicule and try to roadblock criminal defense lawyers’ challenges about such flimsiness. Such judges, prosecutors and cops certainly would whistle a different tune if one of their best friends or loved ones (or even themselves) were caught up in such junk science.

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