The study found that a sample of young men from the Washington, D.C. parole and probation system showed that 39 percent tested positive for synthetic marijuana, yet they had passed a traditional drug screen, according to The Washington Post.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the University of Maryland’s Center for Substance Abuse Research were responsible for the study.
“Most drug tests are testing for the old epidemics, and they need to update their panels,” said lead researcher Eric Wish.
The report stated, “For the first time we, found a drug that was as likely to be found in persons who had failed the limited criminal justice system screen as in persons who had passed.”
The need for updated testing is not only for those in the legal system but also for those in the field of public health.
“You have people coming into these places exhibiting strange behaviors and they enter the public health system looking for help, but the doctor may not know what is wrong with the person,” Wish said. “The public health system needs to start looking at these new metabolites to screen for them.”