I know a dog... And a machine
I know a dog who has retired from the Police force. The dog has arthritis and is no longer fit for Police service work. It is a nice dog and very well trained.
When it finds someone who smells of drugs, it sits down close to them and stares at them. Such behaviour is not especially threatening, though many people find this unnerving.
Note: if a person smells of drugs it does not indicate that they are in possession of them. Also, it does not indicate that the person is a consumer of drugs. To the dog, it just means that a person smells of drugs. A wise policeman will also know this.
I also met a machine in London at the Eurostar terminal, a couple of Summers ago. The machine was new and looked like an archway, constructed of brushed stainless steel sheetmetal. (Switching to prose).
"Good afternoon sir, we're testing our new drugs detection machine. Would you like to help us test it -it's non-comulsory."
[In I go]
[Operator looks at machine]
"Can you try again, sir?"
[Supervisor called over.]
"Good afternoon, sir."
"Do you have any drugs on you, sir?"
"Are you sure, sir?"
[Worried look on supervisor's face.]
"Can you wait here a moment, sir?"
[Fetches another collegue.]
[More questions: Where have you been?(France). Do you have drugs with you?(No). Have you been using drugs recently?(No).]
[More worried looks and hushed discussions.]
"Can you come this way please, sir?"
[More questions, search of rucksack, empying of pockets, inspection of contents of wallet.]
"We would like to give you a 'pat-down' search, sir. It is non-invasive but will necessarily involve us feeling close to your groin area. Is that OK?"
"Will you please sign this paper to say that you consent to this search."
[Pat pat pat...].
"OK, thank you for your cooperation, sir."
"May I go now?"
In essence, I volunteered to help them, and was (politely) treated with suspicion.
Three questions remain unanswered:
-Who would volunteer to test a drugs detection machine if they were in posession of drugs or had been recently using drugs?
-How can a drugs detection machine be tested using only people who do not possess drugs?
-Given the prevalence of drugs in cities, what use is a machine which will give frequent false positives?
I hope these missives are of interest. A little truth and personal XPerience can be a very Effective Antidote to pedalled paranoia.