Kevin Curtis is a rare man. It's not just anyone who can get a law passed that aimed directly and only at him, and then become the only person ever arrested -- or likely to be arrested -- under that law. And be the only person convicted under that law. But Kevin Curtis managed to do just that when his anti-drug test kit containing drug-free urine provoked the ire of a powerful politician, State Sen. David Thomas (R-Fountain Inn).
Thomas managed to get a law passed banning urine sales for the purpose of defeating drug tests, and two years later, after Thomas insisted the law be enforced, a State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) undercover agent purchased a kit from Curtis. Curtis was tried, convicted, and sentenced to six years in prison with 5 ½ suspended. He remains free on bond as the state Supreme Court prepares to decide his fate following hearing arguments Tuesday.
This is the same state Supreme Court that earlier upheld the validity of the urine sales law. In arguments Tuesday, attorneys for Curtis argued that his conviction should be overturned because there was no intent to defraud a drug test. Curtis sold his product to protect people's privacy, not defeat drug tests, they argued, and the SLED agent never told Curtis he intended to defeat a drug test.
Curtis' attorneys also argued that the trial court improperly allowed irrelevant but damaging testimony about a pornographic web site linked to a web site that was in turn linked to Curtis' web site. And, the Curtis team argued, the trial judge erred in not forcing state Sen. Thomas to testify as to whether he pressured SLED into targeting Curtis.
A Supreme Court decision is expected within 60 days, but Curtis, who no longer sells the urine and has relocated his business to North Carolina, is through regardless of the outcome. "I don't think I'll ever sell urine in South Carolina again," he told the Associated Press Monday.
Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/218/kennethcurtis.shtml to read our January 2002 interview with Kenneth Curtis, the South Carolina Urine Felon.