Raw Foodists Charged with Smuggling Chocolate
Image: Raw chocolate or gasp - hashish? (Garry Choo on Flickr)
Absurd but true — Ron Obadia and Nadine Artemis, two owners of the Toronto-based raw food and beauty care company Living Libations were arrested last month at the US-Canadian border on their way to Arizona, after drug-sniffing dogs found their 2.5 pounds cache of raw, unrefined chocolate — which officials mistook as hashish. After hours of intimidating interrogation tactics and threats of "life in jail" by Canadian enforcement authorities, a drug test returned a false positive, identifying the raw chocolate as hashish. According to Natural News:
After ... other dishonest tactics used by law enforcement to try to get them to "admit" to drug trafficking, they were finally released on bail. Their baby son was returned to them, and they went home. For the next 30 days, they were subjected to surprise visits by Children's Aid employees (the Canadian version of Child Protective Services), who were told by law enforcement authorities that Ron and Nadine were drug smugglers.
Over this 30 day period, as felony drug trafficking charges were pending against them, Ron and Nadine managed to connect with legal help. Their lawyer, Marcy Segal, was able to persuade the Crown Attorney to send the chocolate "hashish" sample to a proper lab for testing. And wouldn't you know it: The test showed that chocolate is chocolate, not hashish.
But that's not all — after being cleared by the lab tests, the couple attempted to travel again — they do a lot of business in the US — but this time it was US customs that stopped them, as Natural News reports:
Their lawyer had contacted U.S. authorities in advance, advising them that Ron and Nadine were bringing chocolate through their security checkpoints as they crossed from Canada to the United States. "Watch out, it's chocolate!"
They were told everything was understood, and the chocolate would be allowed through. Imagine their surprise, however, when Ron and Nadine were once against arrested at the airport and accused of -- guess what? -- smuggling hashish disguised as chocolate!
U.S. law enforcement authorities boost their careers when they take part in big drug busts, and 2.5 pounds of hashish was a huge bust by anyone's accounting. So they had every incentive to try to make this bust stick.
Desperate to prove themselves right, the American drug enforcement police ripped though Ron and Nadine's luggage and clothing, opening every vial, asking questions about all the "strange" things they found there.
What kind of strange things? Sea salt. Zeolites. Tea tree oil. Essential oils. Hemp seeds. Probiotics. Raw cacao nibs. You know, dangerous superfoods and supplements.
They were questioned at great length about all these "strange" substances. Apparently, law enforcement personnel have actually never seen superfoods! Subsisting on a diet of processed foods and diet soda, they apparently believe real food is a foreign substance... a criminal substance, in fact. It is a strange world, indeed, when those who claim to uphold the laws of the land have zero familiarity with food harvested from the land...
The couple now face $22,000 in legal bills, even though they have done nothing wrong. They plan to sue the Canadian government for false arrest. Maybe raw chocolate is so good that it is criminal?
::Natural News via The Star
Related Links on Raw Chocolate
Chocolate of Mass Destruction (Cryptogon)
A raw deal: Health and environmental benefits of raw chocolate (Guardian)
The Raw Chocolate Revolution (Detox Your World)