Avvo John W. Thornton, Attorney at Law - YELP


Call Us831-426-5800

Call Us831-566-4357

303 Potrero Street, Suite 30
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Men charged with drug crime may not have had an illegal drug

 Posted on August 31,2011 in Drug Crimes

Two men from out-of-state reportedly were traveling through California intending to make a documentary about a substance known as "bath salts." Bath salts are a synthetic substance that is not prohibited under California's drug laws. The men were traveling on a Vespa through the state, when they apparently lost their motorcycle saddlebags on a stranger's property.

The property owner reportedly turned over the lost saddlebags to law enforcement, who conducted a search of the bags, reportedly to find the owners. Law enforcement claims they found three bags containing a white substance, each weighing between 1.7 and 4.4 grams. The deputy conducting the search tested the substance with a Narcopouch and says the presumptive test was positive for cocaine.

The deputy then left a message for the people he believed owned the saddlebags, notifying them where the bags could be retrieved. When the two men appeared at the Sheriff' Office, the men were arrested for suspicion of drug possession.

The two men, age 18 and 37, were arrested on August 17 in Humboldt County. They reportedly explained to law enforcement that the substance in the three bags is not cocaine, but bath salts. The men appeared in court before a Humboldt County judge last week. The men explained to the judge the same story.

The two men, who are from Texas, are currently being held in the Humboldt County Jail for allegedly possessing cocaine, based upon the presumptive Narcopouch test. The Times-Standard reports a company that sells the test kits says bath salts can presumptively test positive for cocaine. The reagent test cannot be used to distinguish cocaine from bath salts.

The alleged evidence in the drug possession case has been sent off to a crime laboratory for accurate testing to determine what is actually contained in the three bags. The Assistant District Attorney handling the case admits if the crime lab analysis "doesn't test positive for a controlled substance, then there's no crime."

Bath salts are not prohibited under California's drug crime laws. At least one bill has been introduced in the California Assembly addressing bath salts and synthetic cannabinoids; however that bill remains in a Legislative committee and cannot apply to the two men in Humboldt County.

Meanwhile, the two accused men continue to be held in jail for alleged cocaine possession.

Source Times-Standard, "'Bath salts,' not cocaine? Experts warn about designer drug that may be involved in Texans' case," Thadeus Greenson, Aug. 29, 2011

Share this post:
Back to Top