Is There Such a Thing as a Marijuana Breathalyzer?

Possession of Marijuana

Possession of MarijuanaIn recent years, there has been an effort to create a marijuana breathalyzer, or a reliable breath test to show how much THC (the active ingredient in marijuana that makes you high) is in a person’s body. Companies like Cannabix Technologies and Hound Labs are engaged in a race to come up with a scientifically accurate device that police can use to identify marijuana impairment in drivers.

But despite these efforts, progress has been sluggish. A viable product may be years away from practical use.

As it currently stands, drug tests often rely on detection of the presence of marijuana metabolites in a person’s fat cells. These metabolites are not known to cause any impairment, but linger in the body for a long time. This means that even functionally sober people can still test positive for marijuana even weeks after last consuming it. The need for a workable device that detects active THC is clear.

However, there is still a fundamental problem: scientists still have not figured out how to correlate the presence of THC and actual impairment. Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has weighed in, stating that predicting impairment based on THC concentration alone is inadvisable.

If you have been pulled over and arrested because an officer suspected that you were impaired by marijuana, our law firm can help. We have a history of success in helping people accused of impaired driving crimes have their charges reduced or dismissed.


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