SA7700
Topic Author
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Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:28 pm

I happily obliged and opened up everything. A wand was used to "take samples" of the contents of my hand luggage, including my hairbrush. After a full search was conducted, which did not turn up anything unusual, one of the gentleman inspecting my luggage told me that apparently they found traces of marijuana on my hairbrush. I was really flabbergasted by this, as I have never in my life even touched illicit drugs.

How on earth does something like this happen? I wouldn't even recognize marijuana if it hit me in the face. This entire saga is quite humiliating. Apart from feeling embarrassed, I am almost certain that this "trace of marijuana" will go on my passport record with Australian Customs and Immigration and that I will be sidelined each and every time I wish to enter Australia. The female customs officer was just plain rude.

Comments or suggestions please?


Rgds

SA7700
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
 
qr332
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:32 pm

Do you know anyone who may have used your brush that smokes it? When you smoke up it usually leaves a trace in your hair... so thats probably why they picked it up.
"The greatest threat to knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
 
oly720man
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:09 pm

I'd have thought that unless they tested in an absolutely sterile environment the traces could have come from anywhere.

Quoting SA7700 (Thread starter):
I am almost certain that this "trace of marijuana" will go on my passport record with Australian Customs and Immigration and that I will be sidelined each and every time I wish to enter Australia. The female customs officer was just plain rude.

Not sure if they'd ever reply, but you could write to them explaining the situation and your concerns and see what they say.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
rammstein
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:17 pm

Quoting SA7700 (Thread starter):
I am almost certain that this "trace of marijuana" will go on my passport record with Australian Customs and Immigration

Hopefully not, otherwise it would be totally unfair: how are they able to prove that the hairbrush was contaminated by you and not someone/something else?

Almost every banknote carries traces of cocaine, is everybody carrying banknotes a suspect now?
He who wishes to be rich in a day will be hanged in a day. --Leonardo Da Vinci
 
SA7700
Topic Author
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:29 pm

Quoting QR332 (Reply 1):
Do you know anyone who may have used your brush that smokes it?

No, not at all. Everybody in our household are non-smokers. Usually when I check into a hotel, I leave the hairbrush on the "vanity" in the bathroom - could a chambermaid be the culprit? Who knows...

Quoting Oly720man (Reply 2):
Not sure if they'd ever reply, but you could write to them explaining the situation and your concerns and see what they say.

I was thinking about calling their customer service call centre.


Rgds

SA7700
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:47 pm

Have you been hanging out with Patrick? (Sabena 332) LOL.

Seriously. . .

Quoting SA7700 (Thread starter):
Comments or suggestions please?

The trace MJ could have come from a number of sources. Most probably currency. You will find, in all likelihood, trace amounts of illicit narcotics on damn near every US $20 bill in circulation. That's my guess. I've swabbed $$$ in my pockets and gotten a "hot" reading before, just testing the thing out. Not unusual.

What is interesting here is that there was enough of a trave amount to cause concern for the officer. Usually the amount is so insignificant that it doesn't register - because the machine is set to a higher tolerance. It would amaze you the things that can be detected on currency, or even on your own luggage, just from sitting in the proximity of other bags that have contamination on them.

I've been stopped at SFO before because my computer bag was a positive hit for explosives . . . well naturally, I knew why. And after a quick flash of the badge and creds, it was a done deal. Gunpowder residue on the handle of the bag.



I can't sopeak to Australian Customs records, but in the US, depending on the "quantity" of trave MJ picked up, it doesn't go anywhere after the swab is trashed. . . impossible to keep up with all the low level readings caused by curreny, etc. I wouldn't think twice about that . . .

Hope this is some decent insight for you.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
SA7700
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:53 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 5):
Hope this is some decent insight for you.

Thanks Pep, much appreciated. I felt like a goldfish, with a gaping mouth on dry ground, after the news.


Rgds

SA7700
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
 
sandrozrh
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:58 pm

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 6):
I felt like a goldfish, with a gaping mouth on dry ground, after the news.

 rotfl 

So how does that feel like? Enlighten us Big grin
 
LHMark
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:06 pm

Maybe it was a shakedown, or a bluff to get you to incriminate yourself for other things.

I've been lied to by US Customs agents before, when they wanted to add stress to see if my travel story would develop inconsistencies; Also by NY State Police, wen they wanted to search our car when we were cutting through a neighborhood known for heavy drug sales (claimed our taillight was out. It wasn't).
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
 
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yowza
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:19 pm

Possibilites:

- False positive test.
- Somebody in your family smokes weed and you don't know about it.
- You have used shampoos/creams containing hemp. A number of facewashes use this.
- You may have been drunk and been the "victim" of somebody else's sweet second hand smoke.

PS Go bokke this Saturday!

YOWza
 
airfoilsguy
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:21 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 5):
I've been stopped at SFO before because my computer bag was a positive hit for explosives . . . well naturally, I knew why. And after a quick flash of the badge and creds, it was a done deal. Gunpowder residue on the handle of the bag.

Just about anything you have on or bring to a firing range will usually test positive for explosives.
It's not a near miss it's a near hit!!
 
OHLHD
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:22 pm

Quoting SA7700 (Thread starter):
apparently they found traces of marijuana on my hairbrush.

It basically can come from anywhere. It could even be that the thing used for searching for Mary Joanna was used two times. I do not think that anyone will make a note about it. Or did they take your name, passport number etc?

Quoting QR332 (Reply 1):
Do you know anyone who may have used your brush that smokes it? When you smoke up it usually leaves a trace in your hair... so thats probably why they picked it up.

I think they can get it out of the hair as it is with cocain. By brushing through your hair nothing should be on the hairbrush.

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 6):
I felt like a goldfish, with a gaping mouth on dry ground, after the news.

 Big grin I know what you are talking about. I was tested positive on marijuana, cocain and heroin when I joined the army in 2000 Big grin . One week later they tested me again and they found in addition LSD aswell. I demanded to speak bataillion commander and explained my situation. We agreed that they send me with the military police into a hospital and their they tested me negative and the problem was solved. The young doctor who tested me twice in the military hospital eventually did not know how to use the test.

So everytime I was tired the next months and had small eyes my Seargent Major would send me off for drug testing. Big grin
 
SA7700
Topic Author
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:50 am

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 7):
So how does that feel like? Enlighten us

Standing there with a round open mouth, as if you just sucked on an English cucumber, with basically no words coming out. Some of the "pink" members will be able to explain in minute details about cucumbers and other phallic objects...  Wink

Quoting LHMARK (Reply 8):
Maybe it was a shakedown, or a bluff to get you to incriminate yourself for other things. I've been lied to by US Customs agents before, when they wanted to add stress to see if my travel story would develop inconsistencies

Believe me; they did the shakedown extremely well. I have been to Australia annually for the past 8 years, so there's a lot of Aussie arrival and departure stamps in my 2 (bonded) passports. Some questions were asked repeatedly, with a twist - but I quickly caught up on that. Was my accommodation pre-booked... What was I planning to do whilst in Australia... Where have I been in Australia during previous visits.... How do I plan to support myself - they then went through my wallet looking at all my credit cards, cash and travelers checks. Beside the "positive trace of marijuana on the hairbrush", the hostile attitude of the old female customs officer really annoyed me. I'm positive that she left for home that night on her bloody broom, with a stick still poking out her rear-end.

Quoting YOWza (Reply 9):
Possibilites:

PS Go bokke this Saturday!

The last time I was drunk, was about a year ago.  vomit 

Thanks for those explanations. Would the fact that I came in on a flight from New Zealand have anything to do with this "positive trace"? I entered Australia on June 4, coming in on the non-stop JNB-SYD flight. I had an overnight stay at an airport hotel before catching the EK flight down to CHC the following morning - I had no problems whatsoever and the entire customs-and immigration process took less than 20 minutes. Suddenly, after coming in directly from New Zealand, on June 13, I had problems.

PS: Ahh, it's Tri-Nations time....

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 11):
Or did they take your name, passport number etc?

All that info was on the "incoming passenger card" one has to fill out before entering Australia.

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 11):
By brushing through your hair nothing should be on the hairbrush.

Then my hairbrush must be cursed. Apart from smoking cigarettes, no "illicit" drugs have entered my body.  Wink


Rgds

SA7700
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
 
Springbok747
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:15 am

Ouch, sorry to hear you had to go through this experience SA!

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 12):
I'm positive that she left for home that night on her bloody broom, with a stick still poking out her rear-end.

Yeah, some of those customs officials seem to have such a bloody attitude, they act as though they own this country, and that visitors are just to be treated like scum, especially if you're coming from SA. I don't know why, but this used to happen to me all the time when I used to come here on my SA passport. I never got any positive drug-reading or any such thing, but somehow the customs folks at SYD always felt hostile. They used to ask me questions...even though I had Australian Permanent Residency.

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 12):
Suddenly, after coming in directly from New Zealand, on June 13, I had problems.

Did you leave your hairbrush anywhere...like in a hotel room? But really though, those traces could have come from anywhere...how they hell can they (customs) prove that you used weed?

Quoting SA7700 (Thread starter):
The female customs officer was just plain rude.

She must have been PMSsing...  Wink

Hope you enjoy your stay though...don't worry about this too much.
אני תומך בישראל
 
SA7700
Topic Author
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:15 am

Quoting YOWza (Reply 9):
You have used shampoos/creams containing hemp. A number of facewashes use this.

   The canvass bag in which I carry CD's and my IPOD (in my handluggage right by the hairbrush), is Hemp?! Could this possibly be the explanation?




Rgds

SA7700

[Edited 2007-06-15 01:17:40]
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
 
CaptainJon
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:49 am

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 14):
The canvass bag in which I carry CD's and my IPOD (in my handluggage right by the hairbrush), is Hemp?! Could this possibly be the explanation?

I wouldn't think so. They are not looking for Cannabis sativa itself, they are looking for the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Industrial hemp is a different species and contains extremely low quantities of the active ingredient. So small it probably wouldn't give a reading, especially on a brush.
 
VHXLR8
Posts: 487
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:04 am

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 4):
No, not at all. Everybody in our household are non-smokers. Usually when I check into a hotel, I leave the hairbrush on the "vanity" in the bathroom

I think that could be a distinct possibility. As crew, we are advised to put a towel on the bathroom counter surfaces, and then putting our personal items on that; it would seem there have been crew members who have had similar experiences to yours, that have been linked back to hotel room 'surfaces'.

Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 13):
Yeah, some of those customs officials seem to have such a bloody attitude, they act as though they own this country, and that visitors are just to be treated like scum, especially if you're coming from SA. I don't know why, but this used to happen to me all the time when I used to come here on my SA passport. I never got any positive drug-reading or any such thing, but somehow the customs folks at SYD always felt hostile. They used to ask me questions...even though I had Australian Permanent Residency.

That whole attitude really gives me the you know what!! Observing Australian customs/immigration officials many times through the course of my work trips; I'm so often appalled and embarrassed at the attitude they take with people coming through.
Also, having known many South Africans through family and friends; I know how badly they are often treated when entering Australia; depsite the fact that many have Australian residency, and are also hard-working, good people who contribute a lot to this country. I'm sorry that you have been treated that way mate.
 
SA7700
Topic Author
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:31 pm

Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 13):
Yeah, some of those customs officials seem to have such a bloody attitude, they act as though they own this country, and that visitors are just to be treated like scum, especially if you're coming from SA. I don't know why, but this used to happen to me all the time when I used to come here on my SA passport.



Quoting VHXLR8 (Reply 16):
That whole attitude really gives me the you know what!! Observing Australian customs/immigration officials many times through the course of my work trips; I'm so often appalled and embarrassed at the attitude they take with people coming through.

Luckily I have never been treated badly by Australian immigration officials, since I started visiting the country in 2000. Oz custom officials however, need to clean up their act, IMHO. Many A.netters are always bitching about USA Customs and Immigration, yet I have never experienced any problems entering the country at ATL, JFK, IAD or SFO. The rudeness of the Australian officials during this trip (mainly the old lady), really made me feel unwelcome. It's hardly a glowing invitation for visitors and tourists coming into the country to spend dollars and boost the Australian economy.

Quoting SA7700 (Thread starter):
Did you leave your hairbrush anywhere...like in a hotel room? But really though, those traces could have come from anywhere...how they hell can they (customs) prove that you used weed?

I always leave my hairbrush on the "vanity" in the bathroom, with the rest of my toiletries. Australian customs can't prove that - they packed everything out of my luggage and took the large (empty) suitcase away for seperate "scanning". I was told that they wouldn't conduct a stripsearch because it was obvious that I had nothing illegal on me. It just concerns me that this "positive trace" will be logged against my passport and affect any future Australian tourist visa applications. I guess I shouldn't make such a big deal out of it, but it is humiliating and degrading, especially when I know that I am innocent.

Quoting VHXLR8 (Reply 16):
As crew, we are advised to put a towel on the bathroom counter surfaces, and then putting our personal items on that; it would seem there have been crew members who have had similar experiences to yours, that have been linked back to hotel room 'surfaces'.

Thanks for that piece of advice VHX.

Quoting VHXLR8 (Reply 16):
I'm sorry that you have been treated that way mate.

Thanks mate - much appreciated!


Rgds

SA7700
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
 
Boston92
Posts: 2603
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:55 pm

Anyone seen the Jeff Dunham Joke on this:

He was at BUR and they used the testing equipment to test his puppets (he is a ventriloquist), they swabbed the puppets ass, and the computer came up with Military Grade Plastic explosives. Then he is pinned up against the wall, and searched to find nothing incriminating. He then wondered why explosives were on his puppets ass, and the agent said that sometimes the computer confuses that with hand lotions. (true story)

For those who did not get that joke, don't ask.
 
VHVXB
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:47 pm

Quoting SA7700 (Thread starter):
I am almost certain that this "trace of marijuana" will go on my passport record with Australian Customs and Immigration and that I will be sidelined each and every time I wish to enter Australia

It won't happen so there is no need to worry about it. If you did have marijuana on you or in your bags they would either red flag you and not let you back into the country or give you jail time
 
SA7700
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 9:38 pm

RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:22 am

Quoting VHVXB (Reply 19):
It won't happen so there is no need to worry about it. If you did have marijuana on you or in your bags they would either red flag you and not let you back into the country or give you jail time

Thanks VHVXB. Yesterday, I did however speak to a customer services representative from Australian Customs in order to relay my concerns. They will investigate the matter, especially the conduct (borderline harassment) of the female customs official, and give me feedback.


Rgds

SA7700
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
 
lewis
Posts: 3586
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:54 pm

I don't think its that serious. I was stopped at LCY for a search when I returned from Rotterdam and customs found traces of cocaine on my mobile phone. After they took samples from all my items and searched everything and found nothing they told me that maybe my phone was left on surfaces that had traces of cocaine on them. The amount they found was ridiculously small too. After a week in the Netherlands, that wasn't too hard for them and myself to believe.
 
ADXMatt
Posts: 520
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:07 pm

RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:49 pm

I wouldn't worry about it.

If they didn't find actual seads or leaves don't worry. Since they tested it out of your presence they were probably bluffing.

When I went to Australia I had no problems, and I entered via New Zealand. I had the dog sniff my bag and butt and walked right thru. No questions or anything.
 
VHVXB
Posts: 5322
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:58 pm

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 20):
Thanks VHVXB

Not a problem

Quoting SA7700 (Reply 20):
I did however speak to a customer services representative from Australian Customs in order to relay my concerns. They will investigate the matter, especially the conduct (borderline harassment) of the female customs official, and give me feedback

Good. Please keep us informed on the outcome
 
andz
Posts: 7654
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RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:09 pm

Shave your head and toss the brush  Smile
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
SA7700
Topic Author
Posts: 2930
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 9:38 pm

RE: Customs Found Trace Of Marijuana On My Hairbrush!?

Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:12 pm

Quoting ADXMatt (Reply 22):
When I went to Australia I had no problems, and I entered via New Zealand. I had the dog sniff my bag and butt and walked right thru. No questions or anything.

Prior to my entrance on June 13, 2007; I never had any problems during 12 previous entrances into Australia - thus my astonishment. Going down to New Zealand, I had to overnight in a Sydney Airport hotel on June 4, 2007 - the entire immigration-and customs process took less than 20 minutes and I basically walked through.

Quoting Andz (Reply 24):
Shave your head and toss the brush

Easy for you to say Andz - you already took the plunge  Wink


Rgds

SA7700
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)

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