Court Mandated Drug Testing

By Steve Haney on Sunday, January 26, 2014

Court mandated drug testing for drug crimes is the norm in the jurisdiction where I practice, which is Joliet, Will County, Illinois.  A handful of years ago, it did not exist.  It has evolved to the point where ANYONE charged with a drug related offense will be required to mandatory drug test.  A positive test results in immediate incarceration.  An incarceration that, typically, lasts until a clean test occurs.

Science dicates who statisically falls into this trap the vast majority of times.  It is the marijuana user.

As a general rule, pot can be detected in a persons urine within 30 days of ingestion.  Smoke a joint on the first day of the month, it may be detected on the last day of the month.  Ingest  heroin, cocaine, escatsy, etc. more than 3 days before a drug test and there is a very good chance it will not be detected at that point in time.

The main purpose of this policy can only be to get help to those hopelessly addicted to drugs.  The drugs that lead to such a hopeless addiction such as heroin, cocaine, and other abused controlled substances are the ones that can much more easily avoid detection.

In my opinion, this policy is not going to change anytime soon for anyone charged with a drug crime.   Perhaps it is becoming the norm in other jurisdictions.  Its purpose is to be applauded – help the drug addicted.  However, jailing anyone who is busted for a small amount of cannabis because a failed drug test occurs for marijuana certainly exposes the weakness of such a policy.

Unfortunately, it is a weakness that is exposed much too often.