A Vancouver based lawyer, Kyla Lee, claims that a roadside drug-testing device that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) uses isn’t reliable as it can often mistake CBD oil and poppy seeds for marijuana.
The makers of The Dräger DrugTest 5000 though have refuted these claims, saying that the lawyer’s tests are inaccurate and misleading. The company further added that the device which Lee used for her tests were perhaps calibrated for a different country — not the Canadian version specifically designed to test only for cocaine or cannabis.
Although The Dräger DrugTest 5000 is used for only two drug types in Canada, it has the potential to check for as many as 7 different kinds of drugs.
Lee, however, is adamant that the device can be triggered by the presence of other substances as well and get a person wrongfully arrested.
She adds that a number of her clients have been apprehended for DUI, while, in reality, they had consumed nothing more than a commercially made lemon poppy seed cake or CBD oil.
“Nobody’s getting high on poppy seed cake! So it’s definitely a concern,” Lee was quoted as saying to a reputed daily.
Einat Velichover, who works as a development manager for Dräger, believes that all such claims that doubt the efficiency of the device are baseless. Furthermore, she highlights the fact that a driver in Canada cannot be arrested solely on the basis of a failed roadside marijuana test. They can only be taken into custody if subsequent tests conducted in the lab confirm the suspicion.
As for the test, Lee claims that she tested the unit around 40 times on 20 different subjects and there were several false readings.
“One man who had never used cannabis or CBD oil tested positive for cannabis. Other people who had consumed Tim Hortons poppy seed cake 30 minutes before the test also triggered the device.”
Meanwhile, Abbotsford police have bought one unit and are currently testing it.