militarydefenselawyers324Drug Detection Times.

    1. Time periods which drugs and drug metabolites remain in the body at levels sufficient to detect are listed below. Source: U.S. Army Drug Oversight Agency & Technical Consultation Center, Syva Company, San Jose, California, telephone: 1-800-227-8994 (Syva).

Marijuana (THC) (Half-life 36 hours)

Drug Approximate RetentionTime
Acute dosage (1-2 joints) 2-3 days
Marijuana (eaten) 1-5 days
Moderate smoker (4 times per week) 5 days
Heavy smoker (daily) 10 days
Chronic smoker 14-18 days (may
exceed 20 days)
Cocaine (BZE) (Half-life 4 hours) 2-4 days
Amphetamines 1-2 days (2-4 days
if heavy use),/td>
Short-acting (e.g. Secobarbital) 1 day
Long-acting (e.g. Phenobarbital) 2-3 weeks
Opiates 2 days
Phencyclidine (PCP) 14 days
    1. Factors which affect retention times:
  1. Drug metabolism and half-life.
  2. Donor’s physical condition.
  3. Donor’s fluid intake prior to test.
  4. Donor’s method and frequency of ingestion of drug.
    1. Detection times may affect:
      1. Probable cause. Information concerning past drug use may not provide
        probable cause to believe the Soldier’s urine contains traces of drug
        metabolites, unless the alleged drug use was recent.
      2. Jurisdiction over reservists. Reservists may not be convicted at a courtmartial
        for drug use unless use occurred while on federal duty. United
        States v. Chodara, 29 M.J. 943 (A.C.M.R. 1990) (urine sample testing
        positive for cocaine less than 36 hours after reservist entered active duty
        was insufficient to establish jurisdiction). But see United States v. Lopez,
        37 M.J. 702 (A.C.M.R. 1993) (court, in dicta, questioned the validity of
        Chodara and stated that body continues to “use” drugs as long as they
        remain in the body).