A New ACS Course that Teaches Lawyers About Forensic Drug Analysis

In my last post, I questioned “What’s wrong with Forensic Science? Criminal Defense Attorneys That’s What’s Wrong.

We, the defense bar, need to become better educated in the science of forensic science. We have to get training not simply in what the police or police scientists are taught (how to be a button pusher), but rather in the true legitimate hardcore science of it all. The theory AND the practice.

The American Chemical Society is leading the way, they offer two specific courses that are geared towards helping to solve this problem. You can find information about the courses at www.forensicchromatography.com. It is the ACS’s newest course that I am most excited to share with you.

The first ever ACS Forensic Drug Analysis Course Instructors and Attendees

[Pictured from left to right; top row: Josh D. Lee (OK), Richard Middlebrook (CA), Jay Ruane (CT), Jeremy Brehmer (CA); middle row: Marcos Garza (TN), Dr. Lee Polite (instructor), Justin J. McShane (PA); first row: Jamie Balagia (TX), Heather Harris (instructor), Sarah Toney (IL) and Ron Moore (CA)]

From the www.forensicchromatography.com website:

This class is Hands-on

  • Is that white powder cocaine?
  • What is the concentration of the heroin seized?
  • Is that tablet legal drugs or illegal drugs?
  • Is this a counterfeit or pharmaceutical drug?

This is for all drugs of potential abuse including illicit drugs, marijuana, pharmaceuticals, synthetic canabinoids, and synthetic cathinones.

In this course you will not only learn about, but you will get hands on experience, with the scientific techniques used to test drugs of abuse in their pre-consumption form. For far too long, lawyers have stipulated that the seized evidence is an illegal drug just because of one sentence in a crime lab report.

This course requires no prior knowledge or experience in science.

By the end of this course, lawyers will be able to understand how drug testing in pre-consumption form (solid drug dose) is conducted for nearly all drugs of abuse, sources of uncertainty (misidentification) of the qualitative measure, sources of uncertainty (wrong concentration or weight) of the quantitative measure, representative sampling, validation of methods, bench work, and federal analog act prosecution.

Forensic Drug Analysis

Attendees will use reagents (colormetric tests), GC-MS, GC-FID, and FTIR instruments with unknowns.

You will finally be able to represent people charged with possession of controlled substances and/or possession with intent and/or manufacturing competently in terms of the essential element of the crime charged (the seized unknown is in fact all illegal drug). This course is a must for your practice.

Pictures from the Forensic Drug Analysis course

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