Feel like a little nip of organic chocolate while you’re heading to the Big Apple, Chicago or San Fran? Careful now. If you’re crossing the border with a fair trade sweet, you may get busted for drugs.
That’s what happened to Nadine Artemis and Ron Obadia, owners of Haliburton-?based alternative health company Living Libations. Sure, the New York State Police dropped charges of trafficking a controlled substance late last month – thousands in lawyer’s fees later.
The culprit? Narcotics identification kits (NIKs), hyper monitoring mechanisms ready to blow the whistle on your tea tree oil or natural toiletries.
The story starts in August 2008, when the two raw foodists were stopped at Pearson Airport carrying their own brand of organic chocolate made of unrefined cacao, maca root, hemp seeds and goji berries. When Canadian Border Services applied a NIK test, their sweet treat registered positive for hash, and Obadia was told he would be charged at a future court appearance.
The test, which takes a few seconds, involves a liquid interacting with the substance in a vial. If it turns any shade of purple, arrest.
Not surprisingly, the more complicated follow-up test by the feds a few weeks later came back negative, and the two were exonerated.