This is a scan of an actual THC test strip, dipped in my urine. It was a thing of beauty in my house Wednesday night.
Monday, during my sentencing hearing, Judge Delaney asked me three times if I would test clean (of THC, the ingredient of cannabis for which my probation officer tested me Thursday). He said, "There is no penalty for telling me [if you've smoked marijuana lately]. In spite of that, 8 out of 10 people lie to me. I will ask three times. You can choose to tell me the truth anytime. If you lie to me, [my entire sentence for you today will be revised,] and you will not like the result."
Each time I answered, "I haven't smoked in the last 60 days." I could not positively tell the judge that I would test "clean," because the tests themselves are so notoriously unreliable that anyone (literally) anytime could test positive for THC. In addition to that, a cannabis smoker might test positive in a reliable test as far out as 90 days, or even more (many factors come into play).
A friend gave me a few test strips (you can buy them on the web). I have been testing myself for a few weeks, knowing I would be tested officially at some point. The results were positive until just a few days ago. I was not sure whether the tests were accurate, because they are inherently unreliable. Nevertheless, a positive test, reliable or not, would have held serious negative implications for me. The picture here is of one of those strips.
The strip is shown at just under actual size. The red line at the bottom indicates the depth to which one immerses it in the urine. The area in front of the arrows is white on a fresh test strip. This strip is designed to detect only THC. The blue arrow points to a red line that appears after the strip is dipped in urine. That tells one that the liquid is indeed urine. The green arrow points to a line that appears if no THC is detected. A little over a week ago that line was still not appearing. After more than 60 days with no cannabis! Only three days before the sentencing hearing did negative results (a very, very faint red line) start to appear on my home tests.
Thursday my probation officer gave me a urine test. His strip was designed to detect THC and other illicit substances (about which I was not worried). The control line appeared, and so did three other lines. I was a relieved dude. I did not know whether his test might be just enough more sensitive than my strips to sense THC not picked up by my tests.
This might not mean anything at all beyond a clean test. But it does mean that I am home tonight instead of in jail. Incidentally, my 45 days in jail starts in mid-August.
This is posted for no reason other than to inform the uninformed of some of what to expect after being convicted of felony weight cannabis possession.