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Marijuana breathalyzer idea promising, but concerning

Last month, as some Colorado readers may have heard, the Marijuana Investor Summit and Business Expo took place in Denver. The event, founded only last year, is aimed at bringing together investors and entrepreneurs in the marijuana industry. While one can expect that there will be a lot of fluff at such an event, one interesting product was exhibited at this year’s summit by Cannabix Technologies which could prove quite useful if it makes it to market.

The idea is a marijuana breathalyzer. Before you laugh, consider the fact that there is currently no way for marijuana users to know whether they are under the legal limit for THC before they get behind the wheel. Neither is there a way for police officers to determine whether or not a driver is above or below the legal limit prior to performing a blood test. 

Although the law currently sets a limit of 5 nanograms of blood THC for driving suspects, officers have to use their best judgment as to whether or not a driver is high before taking a blood test. Having a tool to get a better initially reading, as in drunken driving investigations, could certainly be helpful. Not to mention the fact that, if such a product was available to consumers, it could help marijuana uses to consume more responsibly.

It isn’t clear, though, how accurate the technology would be, or even how helpful. The problem is that, unlike alcohol which is water soluble, THC is fat soluble, meaning that THC can remain in the body for weeks after smoking marijuana. This means that a sober driver could end up being arrested for drugged driving, which is why the idea of a marijuana breathalyzer—while exciting—is also concerning.

In our next post, we’ll continue discussing this issue and how some states are currently addressing the THC problem in the legal process. 

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