I’ve done several posts on whether we could be seeing a breathalyzer for marijuana soon. The latest reports on a marijuana breathalyzer are coming from one of the states which have recently legalized recreational marijuana.
Researchers from Washington State University are also working on developing a breathalyzer for THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana.
WSU chemistry professor, Herbert Hill, said that current techniques used by airport security and customs agents to detect drugs can similarly be used to detect the THC in a person’s breath.
Like other prospective THC breathalyzers in development, the THC breathalyzer in development by WSU will not be able to detect how many nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood are present. But, according to Hill, the THC breathalyzer will be able to let officers know if some THC is present.
“We believe, at least initially, that it would lower the false positives that an officer would have,” Hill said. “They would have a higher level of confidence in making an arrest.”
If you read my posts, you’ll know that the legal limit for THC is states that have legalized marijuana is five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.
I’m sorry for sounding like a broken record, but THC located in the blood is not an accurate measurement of intoxication!
THC can stay in the blood for weeks, if not longer, after smoking marijuana. This means that a person can be arrested for a marijuana DUI, even though they are stone-cold sober, merely because they smoked marijuana weeks ago.
Until a breathalyzer can detect intoxication from marijuana rather than merely the presence of THC, we shouldn’t be using it.