Marijuana Breathalyzer Is Now A Reality And Will Hit The Streets In 2020

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Since recreational marijuana has become legalized in the US, the powers have been brainstorming new ways to prosecute the legal marijuana user.

Marijuana Breathalyzer Is Now A Reality And Will Hit The Streets In 2020

Courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh


Since recreational marijuana has become legalized in the US, the powers have been brainstorming new ways to prosecute the legal marijuana user.


Driving stoned is obviously high on the list of no-nos, but the police state will exponentially increase as cops will soon have marijuana breathalyzers.


As there are currently 33 states with some form of legal marijuana, the government has been trying to find out ways to determine how much THC you have in your system. As THC metabolizes far differently than alcohol, that has presented a challenge to the authorities.


Current THC testing procedures have relied on hair, blood, and urine samples which test merely for the presence of THC. Merely having THC in your system, though, is no way of indicating impairment.


Interdisciplinary researchers in Pitt’s Department of Chemistry and the Swanson School of Engineering claim to have overcome those limitations by using carbon nanotubes in their breathalyzer.


The main and most controversial question is the rate at which the body metabolizes THC and the ability of a breathalyzer to tell just how high a person is. That’s the problem researchers admit they’re currently dealing with.


Despite claiming the device is almost ready for mass production, Ervin Sejdic, a professor of electrical and computer engineering who is also at the university, to build the prototype, admits they have no way of telling how stoned somebody is with their breathalyzer.


The good news is that this report indicates that there are still many tests to conduct before cops have these in their hands. But their mere existence most assuredly foreshadows more checkpoints in our future.


Despite having no set limit on the amount of THC to constitute impairment, police have already been conducting similar stops but with mouth swabs. As reported by TFTP in 2018, the Massachusetts State Police are now testing a saliva swab to detect if people are driving under the influence of cannabis. State police recently tested about 170 people at sobriety checkpoints and drug treatment clinics with those swabs, but even they doubt that the tests will hold up in court.


Boston isn’t alone, as there’ve also been similar programs announced in Colorado, California, Kansas, and Michigan.


Furthermore, as TFTP previously reported, legal weed seems to be making drivers safer. According to a recent report from the Nevada Department of Public Safety, deaths from traffic accidents in Nevada have dropped by more than 10% in the first year that marijuana was legalized in the state for recreational use.


Before the legalization in Nevada, between July 2016 and May 2017, 310 people had died in traffic accidents, but since legalization took effect, between July 2017 and May 2018, the number was reduced to only 277.


Similar numbers have been seen in other states which have implemented legalization. According to a study published by the American Public Health Association, states with legal medical cannabis have lower rates of traffic fatalities than states with full prohibition.


While correlation doesn’t mean causation, it does seem that legalization is making the roads safer, debunking many claims that DUI would increase. Critics of marijuana usually cite statistics of how often people test positive for marijuana after car crashes. Nevertheless, what those assessments usually leave out is the fact that those people often have many other drugs in their system, most times alcohol or opiates, which both have a much greater impact on motor skills.

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Thinking Humanity: Marijuana Breathalyzer Is Now A Reality And Will Hit The Streets In 2020
Marijuana Breathalyzer Is Now A Reality And Will Hit The Streets In 2020
Since recreational marijuana has become legalized in the US, the powers have been brainstorming new ways to prosecute the legal marijuana user.
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