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Inexpensive narcotics testing kits give false positives

California residents may be interested to know that law enforcement is increasingly using very inexpensive testing kits to identify illegal substances. These kits have been known to routinely give false positive readings when testing items like baking soda.

Two truckers ran headlong into this problem when they were stopped by officials who used one of these illegal substance testing kits. According to the report, the truckers were carrying large bags of bulk baking soda in their vehicle, which officials suspected contained cocaine. They tested the bags with one of the kits, and it returned a positive reading for cocaine multiple times.

The truckers were then taken into custody on drug charges and spent approximately two months in jail. They were later released after a more definitive test of the bags came back negative for illegal substances. Reports also indicate that these kits have confused other substances for narcotics. For instance, vitamins were identified as amphetamines while pieces of candy falsely tested positive as methamphetamine. Tortilla flour was also mistakenly confused for cocaine. Officials suggest keeping items in their original containers in order to avoid similar confusions.

If a person is wrongfully convicted of drug charges, his or her attorney may be able to help them by appealing the decision. Recent events have shown that it is important to request more definitive testing to be performed on any substance suspected of containing drugs. An attorney may be able to help a client demand this testing be performed before wrongful convictions are made. It is important to act quickly when accused of criminal activity in order to avoid serious repercussions that can potentially result from time in jail.

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