I’m sure you’ve heard of this by now – at least the concept, if not promises that they will be on the streets as soon as early 2016 – there are plenty of different groups who are begging for a real-life, accurate version of a marijuana breathalyzer.
There are a couple of different companies who are very publicly trying to come up with the solution to stoned driving. One who has received a lot of attention in the past year is Cannabix Technologies – and more recently Hound Labs, Inc. has promised their new patent-pending design will roll out for trials very early next year.
The problem I have is I can’t decide if they are really a good or a bad thing – and I guess it depends on what angle you’re looking at it from. Many, many people smoke marijuana before going out each and every day – and most of them are capable of driving and know when they are not – that’s not to say that everyone does however.
Cannabix version of the cannabis breathalyzer is unimpressive – so far every version of a cannabis breathalyzer tested has only been able to tell that the person did indeed consume marijuana at some point.
Hound Labs is promising that their new design is more efficient and more accurate than any of the previous devices on the market – though we still have to wait for clinical trials to determine if they are really as close to having it figured out as they say.
I think there are both pros and cons to the Cannabis Breathalyzer – if we have one that was able to accurately measure how high someone is.
On the pros side, if it worked, it would actually save a lot of people a DUI for consuming marijuana and driving. As of right now, many people have been arrested and given a DUI or DWI for having traces of marijuana in their bloodstream or saliva – neither of which prove the driver was impaired while driving only that they consumed marijuana recently.
However, a con would be that the product is so highly anticipated that it is rushed out and the machine does not work properly – like all the ones prior to now. Even with clinical trials to determine it can measure how much THC is active in their system now, do we even know what the “average” point of being “too high to drive” is?
For alcohol it is pretty standard – you can have a beer or a drink and drive home – but once you go over the legal limit you better not find yourself behind the wheel. For marijuana this can differ from state to state, but there has never been any testing done to determine what is actually “too high”.
So will the marijuana breathalyzer be a good thing? Once they a better idea what it really is to be “too high” or “too impaired” to drive and have a machine that can accurately read these numbers every time, I think it might not be the worst thing. At the very least, it would clear you if you actually weren’t stoned, your car just always smells like some sweet dank herb.