Newsbrief: Urine Sales Case Before South Carolina Supreme Court 10/24/03

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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.

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Issue #308, 10/24/03 Bolivians Deal Blow to US Andean Drug Policy | University of Virginia Drug Bust Draws Complaints, Disbelief | Seattle's Sensible Marijuana Initiative Idea Catches On -- Eugene Next? | DRCNet Interview: Robert Rapplean of Parents and Educators for the Reform of Drug Laws | Press Release: Pain Coalition Seeks Relief Through Chronic Pain Treatment Act | Newsbrief: Hawaii to Prosecute Mother in Meth Baby Case | Newsbrief: Urine Sales Case Before South Carolina Supreme Court | Newsbrief: What Racist Drug War? Ask Maryland | Newsbrief: Latest Gallup Poll Finds Public Believes Drugs a Serious Problem But Not the Most Serious | Newsbrief: Glacial Movement on Ganja Decrim in Jamaica | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Canada to Look at Subsidized Housing for Junkies | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | The Reformer's Calendar
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