The advantages of marijuana over alcohol are obvious. For one, marijuana does not induce aggressive behavior. Second, cannabis will not deteriorate your health to the point of no return, which is something that couldn’t be said for alcohol. And third, you can drive drunk and fail a Breathalyzer test but the same couldn’t be said driving under the influence of marijuana. Plenty of people took advantage of that and there was virtually no way to discover whether a person was driving under the influence unless you took that individual to perform a blood test. But, lets face it; people take blood tests only after the accident has already happened.
The Lollypop Test
Sure, there was the lollypop test in which you put your saliva to the test. The results of that were always debatable, as the authorities couldn’t really figure out when was the last time you took any drugs. It all depended on how long the drug would stay in your system. Or maybe the fault lied in easily available over the counter medication (such as anti-headache pills), which contained traces of cocaine. Either way, the chances of you coming out positive were huge.
That is why Washington State University would like to put an end to that problem by inventing a marijuana breathalyzer test. This would make it easier for all the patrol officers out there who catch drivers suspected of consuming marijuana. Obviously, walking a straight line doesn’t really cut it anymore. The demand for such a test stems from the overpowering support for both medical and recreational marijuana. Naturally, states like Washington and Colorado will be prioritized in terms of the Breathalyzer implementation since the number of DUI drivers is on the rise.
Detecting THC, Not CBD
However, this device would be used to detect THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana. So, if you were smoking CBD only strains, you would be able to pass the test. But then again, it’s not the CBD that makes you high. The test would be manufactured in the form of a handheld device and it would be able to detect the percentage of THC, which could then be used as evidence in the court of law. There’s an initiative 502 currently out there that allows people to have 5 Nano grams of active THC per milliliter of blood.
Prototype Was Ready in 2015
A prototype is currently being made at the Washington State University that is was tested in June 2015. For comparison sake, in 2012, over 18% of impaired drivers in Washington tested positive for THC. In 2013, that percentage spilled over 25%. The need is obviously there but the accuracy of these devices has always been a problem. Whether the team at Washington State University will overcome that issue, remains to be seen.