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Police State Style Drug Testing Hits the UK

Author: Jonty Adderley
Monday, December 30, 2002
Clubbers and revellers in Staffordshire (Middle England) are being subjected to immediate drug tests as they enter bars and clubs, after local police introduced a new portable computer which instantly analyses swab tests.

"It will allow us to test hundreds of people in a very short time," Chief Superintendent Nick Lowe told the Daily Telegraph. "If it shows red, which means definite contact with drugs, the police can intimate their powers to stop and search the person and then arrest them if necessary."

Although young people have every legal right to refuse the intimidating test, police confirmed that a refusal would be considered suspicious, an approach civil liberties campaigner Gareth Crossman from Liberty slammed as 'extremely questionable.'

"The police cannot force someone who us not under arrest to take a drug test but they are implying they can," he pointed out.

"To then use a perfectly legitimate refusal to comply as part of a justification for suspicion is an abuse of police powers."

With cannabis staying in users' systems for 28 days, marijuana enthusiasts are most likely to be caught by the new police tactic, even though British authorities are reclassifying it to Class C in the New Year. Ironically, infamous cannabis smuggler turned legalisation campaigner/DJ Howard Marks predicted such draconian tactics would only occur if laws were never softened against the hugely popular drug.

"Cannabis can only carry on being illegal forever if the world becomes a horrible Nazi-type police state," he predicted in a prescient interview in 1998.

"But then people will be more worried about seeing their kids than about getting stoned".