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With several more states on track to legalize recreational marijuana within the next year, the pressure is mounting for science to develop an effective Breathalyzer that law enforcement can not only use to gauge impairment, but one that accomplishes this goal without scrutinizing every driver showing traces of THC metabolites with a DUI.
"In just one or two breaths, our new scientific approach is able to capture THC, and, through an extraction process, measure the actual level to less than 500 picograms," UC Berkeley professor Matt Francis said in a statement. "This incredibly efficient and responsive technology is necessary to measure THC which requires a method that is more than one million times more sensitive than what is used to measure alcohol in breath."
Ever since states began legalizing cannabis, the issue of stoned driving has been a controversial debacle shrouded in half-baked regulations and unconstitutional practices. Some states, like Indiana, have maintained a strict no-tolerance policy on the issue of drugged driving that has caused many motorists to be charged with DUI simply because a blood test showed that they may have smoked marijuana within the past week. In legal states, the situation is an equally sad state of affairs, as most lawmakers have determined a person who registers .05 nanongrams of THC per milliliter of blood to be legally impaired.
The scene has become even more dreadful in recent years with flawed pot breathalyzers being distributed to law enforcement agencies for consideration. All of these devices, however, have only been successful in proving a driver was high at some point, but a total failure in measuring immediate impairment. As Paul Armentano, deputy director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, pointed out in his 2013 article, “The Problem with the Pot Breathalyzer,” “breath test technology is simply a detection test, not a per se indicator of whether subjects are "under the influence" of drugs.”
“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,” Hound Labs CEO Mike Lynn told Reuters. While it is almost inevitable that some form of easy-to-use weed impairment test will need to be put in place before lawmakers and law enforcement can get comfortable with the idea of legal weed, some experts doubt that marijuana impairment can be tested in the same manner as it is done for booze.
originally posted by: boncho
I never understood this, why can't they simply use the Inebriation Test which has been around forever? If someone is not able to walk the line, touch their nose and all that, it should be enough to decide someone is impaired, whether its pot, alcohol, or pharmaceuticals (which actually poses a way worse risk actually).
originally posted by: network dude
I doubt most are seeing this in the light in which it actually is. This enables employers to offer more relaxed policies and enables them to detect "high right now", which if you are, and are at work, you should be fired, just as if you were drunk.
This will pave the way for legalized pot in every state. The excuses are almost all gone. This should be embraced by all. It's nothing but a win.
Tech Firm Claims Creation of Legitimite Pot Breathalyzer
originally posted by: RoScoLaz4
well i can only say that driving under the influence of pot is damn silly and obviously potentially dangerous to oneself and others. same as driving drunk. don't do it kids!
i speak from experience.
originally posted by: zenartist
What always got me about "impairment of ability" is that not everyone has the same ability .. Mario Andretti could drink a case of beer and drive better than most of us sober .. if you have an accident then you should get dui/dwi but just a random stop when youve done nothing wrong and are driving fine its like saying you might rob a bank