Marijuana Breathalyzer on its way?
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 12/03/2014 in Medical Marijuana News
Washington State University is on its way to develop the first marijuana breathalyzer, which would detect THC in the breath as opposed to testing for blood. This is actually very good news for the cannabis community.
Most people can actually handle driving and smoking cannabis at the same time, however this still isn’t recommended since you still are somewhat impaired by cannabis use. Of course, being “impaired” by cannabis and being impaired by alcohol are completely different states of being.
Under the influence of alcohol, people tend to drive more reckless, faster and have slower response time when faced with collisions. Cannabis smokers tend to drive slower, more cautiously due to their “impairment.”
Nonetheless, safer roads is something that we can all get behind. While you might be able to drive under the influence of cannabis is irrelevant as society as a whole would rather prefer sober drivers than drivers under the influence of any drug, including alcohol, prescription pills and of course cannabis.
What is wrong with the old methods?
The old method of testing whether someone is under the influence of cannabis is through his or her blood. The problem with this is that cannabis can remain in your system for up to 90 days as a maximum and 30 days as a minimum. To test positive for cannabis doesn’t mean that the driver was impaired based on this method. Thus, to have a more accurate way to test for cannabis “intoxication” is actually very beneficial for cannabis smokers all over.
Researchers at WSU are attempting to rig drug-testing devices commonly used at airports to detect THC in the breath of a user. While details on the device has not been fully released yet, the idea would be to test the level of THC in a user’s breath meaning that the consumer smoked within a certain time period prior to being tested.
This would reduce the odds of getting red flagged for cannabis impairment when driving since it would test for specific times as THC would leave the breath at a much quicker pace. This will eliminate wrongful convictions of driving under the influence of cannabis and narrow the scope to people who are actually driving impaired.
Why should the cannabis community embrace this?
If we want to legalize cannabis nationwide, it is important to welcome this kind of technology. Not only does it provide great reassurance to the “non-smokers” of the world, but it also limits the wrongful convictions of impaired drivers.
We all want safer roads…if this can help separate cannabis smokers from impaired drivers…then we should embrace it as something good.