More War-on-Drugs Voodoo: Saliva Screening

May 9, 2014

by Crane-Station

Although touted as a useful tool to combat drunk and drugged driving, on-the-spot saliva drug screening is a war-on-drugs development that aims to target everyone, even the innocent. While the goal is to expand the saliva test to the workplace, the schools, and the family courts and programs, the roll-out will target random drivers. Rather than contribute to the decrease in impaired driving incidents, however, the practice will likely criminalize legitimate medication therapies by identifying miniscule and sub-therapeutic levels of some drugs.

This technology is being sprung onto the public ahead of any validation studies that connect a positive screening test in the field to actual impairment, but that has not stopped its premature use. House Bill 5385 in Michigan, for example, was set to force people to have this test, and this test exclusively, on demand. On Thursday, granting Michigan a temporary reprieve from this chicanery, state Rep. Mike Callton (R.MI) announced that the saliva test amendment would be dropped from the legislation based on the inaccuracy of the test. But it isn’t just about accuracy. It’s about targeting drivers randomly for non-impairment.

Drug testing ordinarily follows a two-pronged approach: a screen, and then a confirmation. Drug screening of body fluid is achieved by Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA)/Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), followed by confirmation, if the initial screen is positive. Confirmation takes longer and utilizes gas or liquid chromatography (typically), ie: GC/MS or LC/MS/MS, but it is more accurate and can serve to rule out false positive screens. There are limits of detection for each specified substance, and these are listed in each manufacturer’s FDA-regulated package insert; values below the detectable limits for commonly prescribed drugs are not of toxicological (or therapeutic) interest.

As the drug testing industry expands and takes on a life of its own that has little to do reality, the limits of detection are an issue. The saliva tests are not FDA approved, nor are there any clear methods or limits of detection anywhere, not to mention any connection to actual driving impairment or even any clear description of targeted parent drugs versus metabolites. There are no uniform guidelines for calibration, or specimen handling, and no algorithms exist to ensure chain of custody. The gaps between oral fluid detection and blood level confirmation and actual impairment are neatly filled in with “predictive toxicology.”

Furthermore, on Point of Care Testing (POC), even the Department of Transportation (NHTSA) explains that saliva tests are inaccurate:

THE FUTURE IN DETECTING DRUGS IN DRIVERS

Having an immediate drug test result obtained from a POCT-type test would permit the officer to confront the driver with the drug test result and make the DUID charge. At this time, however, only the urine based POCT technology appears to provide the accuracy and reliability required, and use of this technology is not yet widespread. With the advent of more “zero tolerance” laws, we may see the use of this technology grow. The development of sweat and oral fluid technology holds great promise for the field, but the most recent evaluations indicate that it may be a few more years before the desired sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and reliability are attained.

That a drug test isn’t exactly proven, however, hasn’t stopped the forensics/police/prosecutor community in the past. Just a few years ago, a urine test to determine alcohol (EtG test) use was pimped as the gold standard. Many doctors, nurses and other professionals in supervised treatment programs as well as others who were on probation or parole supervision had to submit to this test, to determine their compliance in the supervised programs. Professional licences were revoked or people went to jail, for ‘non-compliance,’ based on the ‘gold standard’ urine alcohol test. The courts were sold.

But then, the test was deemed to be bogus.

SAMHSA has issued an Advisory that cautions licensure bodies, other monitoring organizations, and staff in criminal justice settings that a widely used test for alcohol consumption is “scientifically unsupportable” as the sole basis for legal or disciplinary action.

Unfortunately, that did not help some people, because the courts had decided that the test was reliable.

The urine alcohol thing was a miserable failure, but the forensics industry is pushing forward, undaunted. Now, there is a huge move afoot, essentially, to find anything in the blood, and prosecute accordingly. Namely, the various versions of synthetic cannabis are the target. The limits of detection for the various substances have not been worked out, and the protocols have not been worked out, and connection to driving impairment has not been worked out, but that’s okay because the passing public makes a pretty decent lab rat, and if any other molecules of any sort are detected along the way, those are thrown in as well.

The marketing ploy for the saliva test is, “It’s just like a portable breath test.” The potential is endless, especially given that most Americans take medicine for some reason. Literally everyone can go to jail. Workers, school kids, drivers, professionals. There’s just one thing though. The saliva spot test for a given machine make and model, if positive in the field, will be sent to one lab, who will do another screening. Not a confirmation. Just a ‘confirmatory’ screen. This is actually in the product insert for one of the machines, the Dreager 5000. Draeger covers its ass nicely by saying that the actual result must be confirmed in the lab:

CONFIRMATION ANALYSIS
Positive results can be confirmed with a second oral fluid sample via an independent, third-party laboratory analysis using the gold standard method
for evidential tests. Results are available online in a matter of days.

Also note that the product is for “law enforcement only,” and that there is little information available about the machine, because the process is “proprietary.” The lab in this instance that stands to gain a fortune by re-testing the saliva in the lab is NMS Labs.

As it turns out, the Director of Forensics for NMS Labs, a person named Barry Logan, is instrumental in working with the government, to push for random, no-reasonable suspicion traffic stops and mandatory random screening of not just illicit drugs but also things like common anti-depressants, anti-seizure drugs…These are to be tested with limits of detection that are sub-therapeutic. Dr. Logan and others in the law enforcement and crime lab community are pushing for per se laws on everything. To justify the new voodoo drug war expansion, the government recently funded a traffic study. Passing it off with the fatuous excuse that they were performing a “traffic study” to combat drunk and drugged driving, they sent off-duty cops into 60 cities in several states last last fall, to flag down random motorists and collect DNA and body fluids as well as personal histories.

This unethical experiment on motorists that left towns speechless, was based on some Guidelines for research on drugged driving. The guidelines were the handiwork of an ‘expert’ panel- Dr. Barry Logan of NMS Labs is on the toxicology section of the panel. The goal is new laws for random mandatory body fluid (ie, saliva) testing and per se laws on illicit as well as therapeutic medicines (and various over-the-counter medicines), regardless of impairment. This includes miniscule amounts of cannabis.

Issue 11. What are minimum analytes to be tested and maximum cut-off concentrations in urine? Urine specimens provide a basis for further investigations in blood of relevant drug classes. Detection limits should be as low as analytically feasible.

Note that they mention urine, but the guidelines suggest blood for study purposes, with saliva as well, even though saliva is iffy. In the end, if they call it “Science” and go with saliva for the new gold standard, people will be none the wiser, and it’ll be just like CSI.

By the way, there is also a push for alcohol at .01 detection limit and a .05 BAC limit for driving, so anyone who had a glass of wine in a restaurant would go to jail. Also, before Dr. Logan failed upward to work with the government on driving policy and oversee a lucrative, huge private for-profit lab, he left Washington State’s crime lab, pretty much resigned in disgrace, because the workers under his purview at that lab were falsifying calibration papers on…you guessed it- portable breath machines.

State toxicology lab chief resigns over DUI errors
Published: Feb 14, 2008 at 3:38 PM PDT Last Updated: Sep 27, 2010 at 12:53 PM PDT

On Thursday, the BOJ released some new incarceration numbers. The US continues to incarcerate and prosecute more people than any other country in the world, by a substantial margin. There are also sickening, heartbreaking articles about the mentally ill incarcerated being locked in solitary and left there. Strip searches and forced body cavity searches are still common.

Even though a recent London study determined that the US war on drugs is a dreadful failure that has created immense damage, the war on some drugs that was always a war on some of the people is picking up steam. And it is fundamentally flawed throughout.

DNA samples taken at police checkpoint ‘gross abuse of power,’ say PA drivers

LAPD deploys drug detection swab test at sobriety checkpoints

Tennessee bill to nullify some federal roadside checkpoints moves forward

North Texas Drivers Stopped at Roadblock Asked for Saliva, Blood
Fort Worth police apologize for its role in federal survey


Pa. town latest to force drivers over and ask for cheek swabs for federal study

Off-duty cops collect DNA samples at Alabama roadblocks


Rogue Group Reveals Plan to Clean up Crime Labs, Bogus DUID Laws

March 17, 2014

by Crane-Station

A group in far Western Kentucky calling itself ‘Nobody Talks, Everybody Walks,’ neither drinks nor uses drugs but is nonetheless fed up with Fourth Amendment roadside no-suspicion stops and DUI arrests and crime lab corruption, and has a solid plan to be consistent with the Commonwealth’s goal, which is, after all, to keep everybody honest.

The group members all have the cleanest blood you could possibly imagine, so the plan is to 1) generate guaranteed fucked up ridiculous unsupported unreasonable profile stops by having 1000 cars with out-of-state plates from California, Oregon, and the Weedbowl states Washington and Colorado driving the set speed limits all around town, obeying all traffic laws at any given time, and 2), when stopped invariably by the McCracken County Sheriff, on suspicion of DUI because you are from Seattle or God-forbid Boulder or worse yet: Los Angeles, hand over license, current insurance, registration, and then politely and firmly demand on the spot chemical blood test presumptive screening and quantification of: 6000 known drugs, all known religions, all major philosophies and three theories of the universe of choice.

Each person will carry several Physicians Desk References (PDRs), because it may be simpler to hand the arresting officer one of those and say, “I would like quantification, please, preferably on LC-MS-MS, but surely you have learned to work a GC/MS machine sometime in the last 20 years, haven’t you? If not, please send my blood to NMS Labs in Willow Grove, PA. Basically what I am looking for here officer is, a yellow book pages of zeros, for jury trial. Because we are going to jury trial, of course.”

Meanwhile all cars in the program have sophisticated data systems reflecting speed and direction at any given time so the officers can’t tell huge ass lies about the recordings in court, and likewise the prosecutors can’t testify either, as they usually do, without being under oath or subject to cross examination, because sometime officers do forget their lines. There is working audio visual inside the car and out, of course, and this is special: A rolling FBI crime Lab van on scene with redundant equipment, including capability to draw blood before the officer spikes your second sample. The pre-stop sample will be drawn from an indwelling central line. The after-stop sample will go to a CLIA-regulated clinical independant lab.

The group will stop state police lab analysts from coming into court and speculating about little green men on the lawn or the moon being made or green cheese, or anything outside their scope, especially if it is clinical. No trauma. No ACLS. No current vent setting theories for ARDS. And no clinical effects of drugs, especially ones that they claim they have never seen before and cannot find with a goddamn map.

No field sobriety tests whatsoever, absolutely no urine under any circumstances at all. Quantitative blood for everything under the sun. No guilty plea. Jury trial. Continuance to get the chain of evidence. Continuance to get the bench notes. Continuance to get the calibration papers. Demand to see the ISO-9000 compliance quality assurance documents. The proof of education documents for the lab tech, proof of continuing education.

This will be excruciating for the Commonwealth, of course. Too bad. They want more testing, by God us citizens are here and ready to comply with it. But there’s one condition. In fact, there are two. You want more testing? We get quantification on everything you want, from a reputable lab. Most sensitive limits of detection available. The citizens will obey the law. The Commonwealth will not get 50 bites at the apple, they will have to do 6000 tests up front. That’s the deal. We are here to comply. We will not play reindeer games with later-on fill-in-the-blank perjury.

The rogue group estimates that McCracken County may be broke in approximately 20 minutes because this will put a stop to the guilty plea extortion railroad mill once and for all. The group recently spoiled a dipstick cannabis guilty plea extortion scam in another town where officers were showing defendants a control dipstick, claiming cannabis was in the urine, so the defendants were guilty.

The current theme will feature West Coast a ‘dirty hippie’ theme that McCracken County Sheriffs will be absolutely helpless facing; they will be pulling law-abiding citizens over nonstop 24/7. Dreadlocks. Animal print pants, rolled up pants. Thongs. There will be a Lamborghini Veneno in Silver with red trim driven by a blond trannie in beautiful leather boots, driving the speed limit even though the car cruises at 200 MPH. In the back seat is a lone riding crop, and the designer CA tag says 2L8IWON. Subarus. Backpacks.Tie-die. Head bands. T-shirts, that say odd things, like, “There’s nervous and then there’s nervous;” “Failed the HGN;” “watery and bloodshot;” “nervous and fidgety,” and “unusual, disturbing and suspicious.”

Weed bumper stickers, things that say stuff like “free speech zone.” Roller blades. Bikes. Guitars. Bubble tea. Bags from the Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood. Designer sunglasses. Tons of music. Grateful Dead tie die. A faded receipt receipt from Michell Brother’s in San Francisco. CDs on tape. Books.

“Our current group of dirty hippies headed out to Kentucky to obey the law and get pulled over for no reasonable suspicion DUI includes a group of Jet Propulsion Laboratory Workers with PhDs in Physics from Caltech who designed their own badass interior trunk of their state of the art car to basically rove McCracken County like that thing on Mars. These guys are the same ones who pull those insanely amazing Rose Bowl scoreboard pranks every year and in that vein, they’ll cull all the data from the 911 tower and every cop car in the county and every nonworking body mike and dash cam video before you can say “lose the exculpatory evidence.”

“We have doctors out the ass, who are all volunteering to head out to Kentucky to obey the law, and testify as actual experts in clinical medicine, they have all agreed to allow the Commonwealth to put on its state crime lab analyst to pose as a clinical expert and then, it will essentially be sharks a a frenzy including, in no particular order, world class published experts in clinical medicine/internal medicine/critical care/toxicology from UCSF, USC Keck USC University, UCLA, UC Davis, Cedars Sinai, Loma Linda, UC San Diego, OHSU, Denver General, U of WA. While we are at it, we will swing by the CDC in Atlanta and pick up some law abiding hippie epidemiologists/toxicologists, and basically walk around Emory picking up PhDs in Organic Chemistry who have been working with things like extraction and GC/MS since Jesus was a baby.

“We anticipate a bogus profile stop at least every 15 minutes around the clock, they’ll be on their knees looking for cannabis in the hippie blood,” says the new director. “They’ll spend multiple thousands upon thousands searching for that molecule and they may as well piss up a rope because it won’t be there. And we know they really really want to work very hard to find evidence to prove guilt. We think our program will help them, in their expensive, frustrating and futile search.”

Volunteers are donating time, skills, and supplies to the program, which is catching on everywhere. A man in Missouri said, “This was so much fun, stinging the cops, hell I never wanted to drink again. We all went to cruise control, and they damn near went out of business, between that and the no more DUIs. We took control back of our rights and our town.”


James “Whitey” Bulger, Federal Corruption and Erwin Schrodinger’s Cat

August 13, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Good morning to all our friends:

James “Whitey” Bulger was convicted by a federal-court jury in Boston yesterday of numerous gangland crimes, including 11 murders.

The New York Times reports,

The verdict delivers long-delayed justice to Mr. Bulger, 83, who disappeared in the mid-1990s after a corrupt agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation told him he was about to be indicted. He left behind a city that wondered if he would ever be caught — and even if the F.B.I., which had been complicit in many of his crimes and had relied on him as an informer, was really looking for him.

“This was the worst case of corruption in the history of the F.B.I.,” said Michael D. Kendall, a former federal prosecutor who investigated Mr. Bulger’s associates. “It was a multigenerational, systematic alliance with organized crime, where the F.B.I. was actively participating in the murders of government witnesses, or at least allowing them to occur.”

Mr. Bulger, leader of the notorious Winter Hill Gang, owned and terrorized South Boston, an Irish American enclave. Portraying himself as a “good” bad guy, he secretly agreed with the FBI to provide information about La Cosa Nostra in exchange for the FBI’s permission to conduct his illegal activities.

In the end, he was more concerned about maintaining his reputation as a man who would never snitch on anyone or ever kill a woman, despite evidence that did both.

I mention Mr. Bulger not only because his conviction is big news; I mention him because I want to draw attention to the FBI’s misconduct and remind everyone that it is not the proverbial rotten apple in federal law enforcement.

Consider Exhibit 1, for example, which is Operation Fast and Furious by which the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has supplied firearms and ammunition to Mexican drug cartels ostensibly to track where they went.

The War Against Drugs has been an endlessly corrupting influence that has reached into virtually every nook and cranny in the world, including world banking.

Consider this article by Jeremy Kuzmarov, the J.P. Walker assistant professor of history at the University of Tulsa.

Thought for today:

On another note, yesterday was Erwin Schrodinger’s 126th birthday.

Is your existence dependent on the existence of an observer who observes you, which would ultimately be God, or do you exist in an infinite number of multiverses?

Here’s Michio Kaku on the cat problem conjured up by Schrodinger.

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Producing articles every day and maintaining this blog requires substantial time and effort.

Consider where else will you see a story about Whitey Bulger, Operation Fast and Furious, the corrupting War on Drugs and the startling implications of Erwin Schrodinger’s cat?

Namaste

Fred


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