I don’t need the drug class. But are they going to drug test me?

Working with teenagers is always a great source for learning experiences.

This is especially true in the criminal and juvenile justice system where many of them had a few years of successfully hiding risky behavior before being caught for the first time.  Nowhere is this more prevalent than college kids who have been busted for smoking pot.

Although societal norms regarding marijuana use have changed in the past ten years, it is still illegal. And while Austin treats marijuana cases very differently than more lethal drugs like heroine, cocaine, or methamphetamine, there is still the requirement that anybody who has been arrested for a substance related offense should at least go through a drug education class.

When you present this to clients, there’s always two predictable reactions: those that immediately agree to do whatever it takes to help their case, and those that say that they don’t need to do the drug class because they’re not addicted to pot, marijuana isn’t addictive, and they can stop smoking whenever they want.

A client called me today to let me know that, in no uncertain terms, he did not need the drug education class.

Me:    “Why don’t you want to take the class?”

Him:  “I don’t need it. It’s a complete waste of time.”

Me:     “Are you going to miss work or school because of it?”

Him:  “No. I just don’t want to take it. I think it’s going to be a waste of time. I don’t need it.”

Me:     “Okay. It hasn’t been ordered yet, so I can’t make you do anything. You’re my client, and while I’m strongly advising you to do this, the decision is ultimately yours.”

Him:   “Great. That’s what I wanted to hear. So listen – I have a question. Am I going to get drug tested? Because I’m pretty sure that I’m going to want to smoke this summer.”

Me:       [silence]

Him:    “Hello? Are you there?”

Guess who’s signed up for the 8 hour drug class?

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