You knew the day would come; it was only a matter of time. And, well, it seems that day is now just around the corner.
What day is this?
Well, that “day” refers to the invention of a marijuana breathalyzer. With recreational marijuana laws loosening all over the country it would only seem natural that something like this would come soon after.
Well, here it is.
And while the invention could certainly prove a bane to users who like to toke up and take a drive, it is a necessary precaution similar to that of alcohol; after all, both substances can significantly impair anyone’s ability to operate a motor vehicle.
Right now, though, law enforcement officials have no reliable method for determining level of impairment during a traffic stop. They only analysis forms available are blood and urine tests, but those do not measure level of impairment (only presence of THC over within a certain period of time).
“That’s where the alcohol standards came from. You had a certain amount of alcohol on your breath and this is what happened when you drove a car. Those same standards need to be developed for THC so that we focus just on the stoned drivers and leave everybody else alone,” explains Hound Labs CEO Mike Lynn.
Hounds Labs, of course, has been working on the device.
He continues, “Right now the standards are completely arbitrary. I would argue that they are useless,” noting that the current techniques cannot determine the difference between whether a person smoked an hour ago or yesterday or even a week ago.
Lynn adds, “Our ability to measure THC in breath really should shift the national dialogue from one about simply detecting if THC is in someone’s body to a conversation where standards can be developed that reflect actual impairment.”