Many people charged with marijuana offenses are ordered into drug testing. A positive test does not mean you are going to jail, but it can disqualify you certain 1st time offender programs.
Testing can be ordered pre-trial, as a condition of release, or after sentencing, as a condition of probation.
Positive urine screens for marijuana usually show up in the first couple of weeks after smoking. Positive tests can follow negative tests, even if there has been no new usage. This is because of the body’s erratic elimination of cannabis metabolites in the urine.
Marijuana is stored in the body and broken down into compounds that are released in an erratic pattern over days and weeks. Depending on a person’s frequency of marijuana use, it may take weeks or longer before tests become consistently negative. Recent controlled studies of the EMIT Cannabinoid Assay (the most commonly used test) show that light users typically test positive for 2 – 8 days after last smoking, and heavy users for 6 – 19 days.