A British man was arrested while attempting to travel with his deceased best friend’s ashes so he could scatter them in Nova Scotia. Russell Laight was scheduled to meet up with a friend to scatter the ashes, but he never made it to his destination because he was stopped by customs agents who thought that the ashes were a drug called ketamine. Ketamine looks nothing like ashes and the fact should have been obvious when seeing what was in his possession. For some reason, when the police tested the ashes, the test came back with a false positive result for ketamine. False positives for field tests unfortunately happen very often.
Laight was then arrested and held in prison for 5 nights.
“I was very, very unhappy about it. Very unhappy that my friend’s relatives were unhappy as well. I heard there were lots of people crying over it, lots of people upset about it,“ he said.
Laight said that he was treated like an animal in prison, and that felt dehumanized after the experience.
“I was treated like a criminal and all privileges taken away. It was just a shock, to be honest. Being treated a bit like a dog, as a criminal looked down upon, civil liberties taken away,” he said.
Eventually, further tests did prove that there were not traces of ketamine in the bag with the ashes, but Laight is still not sure when he will get the ashes back.
“I really am interested to find out where they are and preferably get them here as fast as possible so we can do what my friend Simon wanted us to do in the first place: spread them over here with my buddy,” he said.
“[People] really need to check on the human remains articles and what you need to cover yourself with because this is one of the worst things that could happen,” he added
Laight is helping himself get through the situation by remembering that his late friend had a good sense of humor, and may have even found this situation funny.
“I can imagine my mate Simon sitting up there shaking his finger, telling me to pull my head out my backside sometimes and check the itinerary properly. Simon’s a bit of a comedian, he’d just be laughing at it at the moment saying, ‘Yeah you made the mistake, you learn the hard way,’” he said.
CBC reported that the ashes will be returned to Canadian Border Services this week, and then hopefully returned to their owner.
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John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website www.JohnVibes.com.