Legalized It...Now, Breathalyze It

In the first two days of legalized marijuana in Illinois, $5.4 million was spent statewide on marijuana.  The State of Illinois plans to issue 73 new dispensary licenses by May 1, 2020 in order to maximize on the excitement of the legalization of marijuana.

Every upswing has a downturn! While pot may be legal, driving stoned is certainly not. With the newfound accessibility of pot, there will undoubtedly be a marked increase in driving under the influence of marijuana. How will the police handle this when there is no proven easy testing mechanism like a breathalyzer?  Well...maybe there is such a device.

Scientific researchers at the University of Pittsburgh utilized a 3-D printer to make a portable marijuana breathalyzer. The device was successfully tested on one person. University of Pittsburgh developers are working diligently to obtain federal approval of the THC (Pot) breathalyzer.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Office recently tested Hound Lab's marijuana breathalyzer. Mike Lynn of Hound Labs, based in Oakland, California, developed the Hound Breathalyzer with cooperation from researchers from University of California - Berkeley and University of California San Francisco. The new device detects whether someone smoked or ingested cannabis within the last three hours, which is the time-period when the average person is most likely to be impaired. A unique quality of the Hound Breathalyzer is that it measures marijuana that has been ingested through food — a rapidly up-and-coming method of using pot.

Alameda County Sherriff’s Office agreed to test the new cannabis breathalyzer device because they saw a dramatic increase in marijuana-impaired drivers with the legalization of cannabis in California.  Similarly, a Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area study reported a 48% increase in pot-related traffic deaths in the years when cannabis was legalized in Colorado nearly six-years ago.

Alcohol is legal, but driving while drunk is illegal. Now, pot is legal in many places, but driving while high is illegal. A significant difference between booze and pot arises when law enforcement want to measure if an erratic driver is under the influence — currently there is no approved cannabis breathalyzer.