Law Blog


Is Synthetic Urine Legal?

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Synthetic urine has been around since the 19th century when a German chemist came up with a way of creating the main component in urine, urea, in the lab. Synthetic urine has been used in the lab for a long time to calibrate lab machines instead of using real urine. It takes out the need to always send someone for a sample or having to use patient samples for calibration purposes. Now, the fact that synthetic urine exists and can be used for noble purposes does not mean that it is legal, at least not in all the states anyway.

Recently, synthetic urine has made its way into labs for an entirely different reason: drug tests. Many employers drug test their employees since working under the influence is known to have devastating effects at the workplace. As such, employees who are on drugs (even legal drugs as in the case of marijuana in some states) have turned to synthetic urine to pass drug tests. As can be expected, they have come up with ingenious methods of carrying the synthetic urine sample with them for testing. Employers are therefore crying foul over this method, since many people have been caught in the act of cheating to avoid getting caught if they do abuse drugs.

Given that employers and labs have been complaining about this trend, lawmakers have taken it upon themselves to remedy the situation. At this point, it is paramount to note that some states have already prohibited the use of synthetic urine. As of February 2014, the following states had prohibited the sale of synthetic urine: Arkansas, Maryland, Illinois, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. There has however been a new push by lawmakers to ban the sale of synthetic urine in the recent past. The most recent state that has banned the sale of synthetic urine is Indiana.  Other states that are looking at banning the product include Colorado, New Hampshire, Texas, among others. Drug users are going to have it tough if all these states ban the sale and use of the product. You should check whether your state allows the sale of synthetic urine before buying it, since if you are found in possession of the product, you could be facing criminal charges.

Now that we know that the sale of this product is legal and also illegal in some states, what can we infer about the use of synthetic urine? Here’s the thing, most people don’t just wake up and decide to buy synthetic urine just to get a kick out of it. No, most of those who purchase the product are drug users who don’t want to get caught, because this could cost them their jobs. Those who purchase synthetic urine mostly want to cheat on drug tests. Cheating in drug tests is illegal. If you are caught, that may mean the end of your job, but you could also be prosecuted. If you are going to buy synthetic urine to cheat on a drug test, do ensure that you don’t get caught.