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April 2007
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A soap company takes on the police

After what’s happened Orange County recently, I need to plug a wonderful company that makes organic soaps from ingredients including hemp oil — Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. Go buy something from them.
Here’s what happened: Don Bolles, drummer for “The Germs” was arrested for

…felony drug possession after police alleged an 8oz bottle of peppermint Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap tested positive for the illicit drug GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate). […]
Mr. Bolles, drummer of the legendary punk band The Germs, was arrested following a police traffic stop and spent three and half days in various jails in Orange County before being released early Easter morning. During a consented search of Mr. Bolles vintage 1968 A-108 van, Newport Beach police found a bottle of peppermint Dr. Bronner’s soap which is made with organic coconut, olive, hemp, peppermint and jojoba oils. Felony drug possession could mean 20 years in prison if convicted.

See also Punk rocker caught in soap opera.
Well, the first point to be made is that Bolles needs to watch Busted and not consent to a search. The second is, what is wrong with the police in this country? Why were they testing soap? And yes, the field drug test came up positive for GHB.
Fortunately, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps was all over this, and now it gets really interesting…

The Bronner family, makers of the popular organic Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, has learned that the confirmation drug-testing at the Orange County crime lab of soap taken from Don Bolles does not contain GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate).

Jailed for no reason based on a faulty test. Was it a glitch?
Says Bronner:

“Our customers need to know now this whole soap opera is a mistake by police who tormented an innocent 50 year old man with jail. We purchased the same NarcoPouch¬ 928 GHB field test made by ODV, Inc. that was used by the police, and ran tests on our soaps. We confirmed that the test is useless when used on soap since every test came back positive. We also tested other common brands of soap including Johnson & Johnson’s popular Neutrogena brand, as well as Colgate-Palmolive’s popular Tom’s of Maine brand, which gave the same false-positive tests as well. What kind of justice system allows police to use field drug tests that deprive citizens of their God-given liberty, that test positive for something as common as soap? What kind of policies and regulations are in place on police drug-testing practices and products, such that a US citizen can be tossed in the slammer over Easter weekend for possession of soap? Police departments nationwide should immediately stop using the ODV, Inc. field test for GHB as it is not accurate when used on soaps and who knows what other common household products.”

Way to go, Dr. Bronner!

[Thanks to Tom, David Borden and others]

Open Thread

“bullet” The Illinois State University chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy will have their Spring Hempfest this Thursday (April 19) from noon to 10 pm out on the quad. “bullet” If you’re near Portland, Oregon, you should check out a drug policy reform presentation by the excellent Norm Stamper tomorrow (April 18) at 8 […]