The credibility of field drug test kits is under fire following the arrest of a Canadian couple on erroneous drug charges, raising concern about the violation of their civil liberties.
On September 11, Ron Obadia and Nadine Artemis crossed the U.S. border with their infant son. The two were checked for drugs and a field test was administered on beauty products and organic chocolate produced by their company, Living Libations.
After the NIK field test produced a false positive, the couple were arrested and charged with exporting a controlled substance. Under separate interrogation, each was told by officers that the other had confessed to smuggling hashish.
The couple faced a similar incident on August 3 in Toronto after another false positive drug test. They were arrested, interrogated, and later visited by child welfare authorities.
The two were exonerated after more tests. Before the September incident, the two had notified border authorities of their travel plans and were accompanied by an attorney, but were still arrested.
"I thought somebody must have planted drugs in our bag. We didn’t know the tests could be faulty," Obadia told USA Today.
Along with worrying about their civil liberties, Obadia and Artemis are concerned about their rights to market and transport organic products.