When D.C. Pretrial Services announced in December that it would stop testing defendants for marijuana “unless specifically requested by a judge,” defense lawyers wondered if it mean a real change. Maybe judges would routinely request it. Recent test results like this sample report from March 15, 2012 show that indeed DC Pretrial has indeed stopped testing for cannabis.
This is a real blessing for those charged with marijuana offenses, because marijuana can stay in your urine sample
for up to 30 days.
Testing now includes only amphetamines, cocaine, opiates (heroin) PCP and creatinine. Creatinine? Creatinine is a normal byproduct found in urine in limited quantities. Creatinine (along with pH) is tested to detect “water loaders” who drink fluids in an attempt to dilute or mask other substances.
In the past, it seemed that more people came up positive for creatinine than THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Why is that?
Sometimes clients could not produce a urine sample, or went to the restroom before court started.
But every defendant has to produce a urine sample before leaving the courthouse. So, the client would drink a ton of water. The result? A creatinine violation, which equates to a positive test.